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Most student jobs have been canceled, delayed or digitized by coronavirus

The state of play: Coronavirus has battered college life. Students are still scrambling to stanch the cash-bleed from leaving campus in early March. As the dust settles, students must remedy massive financial, professional and social wounds.

College students lost key lifelines like meal plans, dorm housing and campus healthcare when they were ordered off campus. And the withering economy has forced companies across industries to cancel and delay job offers to young workers. The immediate financial concerns blend with anxiety over long-term job prospects, which could be stunted by graduating into a recession.  

The hard financial shocks, and soft social shocks have sparked a third trend: heightened mental distress. Being torn from friends, blocked from campus resources and losing jobs has exacerbated mental health struggles.

The numbers: Below are the key findings from our latest research on how coronavirus has affected college students’ lives from a financial, professional and health perspective.

College Reaction/Axios Poll - Coronavirus | n= 822 | April 10-12th


• Of those with jobs, 75% had their work canceled, moved remote, or delayed.

           • 38% were canceled, 37% were moved remote or delayed.

• 90% are concerned about the US economy and job market.

Distance learning 

• 77% say distance learning is worse or much worse than in-person classes.

• 13% say they would take time off from college if distance learning continues next year.

Mental health 

• 51% are experiencing mental health distress as a result of coronavirus.

• 67% are concerned about the effect of social isolation.

Unintended find*

• Independent of the impact of coronavirus, the poll highlighted employment disparities across racial groups:

· 81% of Asian students had summer job plans

· 70% of White students had summer job plans

· 71% of Hispanic students had summer job plans

· 59% of Black students had summer job plans


Data in this report are generated from a poll conducted April 10th-12th, 2020. A total of 822 panelists participated in the poll. The margin of error for the full sample is +/- 3.4 points.

College Reaction’s polling is conducted using a demographically-representative panel of college students from around the country. The surveys are administered digitally and use college e-mail address as an authentication tool to ensure current enrollment in a four-year institution. The target population for the general population sample was students currently enrolled in accredited 4-year institutions in the US.

Respondents in this poll were randomly selected from a respondent database, which aims to mirror the broader college demographic from a racial, geographic and political standpoint and weighted to reflect the broader college demographic as defined by the National Center for Education statistics.


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