Nearly 80 percent of American high school juniors and seniors say the coronavirus pandemic has affected their plans after graduation, and 72 percent of 13- to 19-year-olds have struggled with their mental health, a new survey shows.
The survey, conducted by America’s Promise Alliance, a nonprofit group, found that 58 percent of teenagers reported learning entirely or mostly online in the 2020-21 school year, and 22 percent said that they had learned about half online and half in person. Nineteen percent said they had learned mostly through in-person instruction.
The results are from a nationally representative survey of 2,400 high school students conducted in March and April.
Among those who said the pandemic had affected their plans after high school, one-third said they would attend college closer to home; one-quarter said they would attend a two-year college instead of a four-year institution; 17 percent said they would attend college remotely rather than in person; and 16 percent said they would put off attending college. Seven percent said they were no longer planning to attend college.
Nearly half the respondents who changed their plans said they were doing so because of financial pressure, suggesting that the pandemic will probably widen educational inequalities among young adults.
Given the extraordinary swell of racial-justice activism over the past year, the survey also asked students about how their schools had handled race issues. Two-thirds reported that “the history of racism” had been taught at their schools. But Asian, Black, Latino and multiracial students were less likely than white students to say that the curriculum represented their own “racial and ethnic background.”