Boulder, Greeley and Fort Collins are college towns, and thousands of students are ready to come to the region to start or continue their college career. A significant part of our local economy is dependent on the students arriving and becoming a part of our community. 2020 will be a year we all remember for a variety of reasons – COVID-19 most of all – but for college students, this school year will start out like no other. Fall semester is rapidly approaching and universities across the country are scrambling to provide a safe environment for their students.
Many have been wondering what might be going on in a college student’s mind right now when it comes to making a decision about attending school in a coronavirus environment, especially since social contact has always been a part of the college experience. As a result, a study has been conducted by Core Spaces surveying approximately 2,500 college students across the nation. The survey, taken between June 2 and June 9, 2020, reveals the impact of the coronavirus on students’ mental state, their feelings towards remote learning, and the financial impact of the virus. The responses provide valuable information to help understand the psychological repercussions and what students need for a safe learning environment. It is crucial for the providers of on- and off- campus housing to offer a welcome and safe place to live.
The results of the Core Spaces study are as follows:
• Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they want to come back to campus when classes begin this fall. Seventy-three percent of respondents would like to get back to their universities even if schools continue online instruction in the fall.
• More than three out of five respondents said the pandemic resulted in economic difficulties for themselves and their families in the following ways: 57 percent noted that their summer job had been canceled, 32 percent said their summer job hours or pay were reduced, 21 percent had one of their parents lose his or her job, and 55 percent had one of their parent’s hours or pay reduced.
• When it came to how students felt about their future job prospects due to the pandemic, nearly 20 percent were much less confident and more than 40 percent were somewhat less confident. Forty percent felt their job prospects were the same as before the pandemic.
• More than 58 percent of respondents said online classes had been a negative experience for them. Nearly eight out of 10 said they feel they would be more successful studying remotely in their apartments vs. their family’s homes.
• Ninety percent of respondents were either very confident (46.6 percent) or somewhat confident (43.4 percent) that their universities would take appropriate and available measures to help protect them and other students from spreading the virus. More than 85 percent of respondents were either very confident (41.6 percent) or somewhat confident (43.7 percent) that their student housing provider would take appropriate and available measures to help protect them and other student residents from spreading the virus.
The bottom line of this survey shows that college students still want to attend universities and think that in-person learning is still superior to online instruction. For those coming to campus, living conditions will be different. Likely, there will be fewer people living in the dorms in order to increase social distancing. If the capacity of the dorms is reduced drastically and enrollment remains the same, there will be additional pressure on off-campus housing. Students will likely turn to off-campus housing as a less dense and thereby safer environment.
Fall semester information, visit
University of Colorado: colorado.edu/roadmap
Colorado State University: https://covidrecovery.colostate.edu/fall-2020/
University of Northern Colorado – unco.edu/return-to-campus/schedule
By Duane Duggan. Duane has been a Realtor for RE/MAX of Boulder since 1982. Living the life of a Realtor and being immersed in real estate led to the inception of his book, Realtor for Life. For questions, e-mail DuaneDuggan@boulderco.com, call 303.441.5611 or visit boulderco.com.