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COVID-19 is pushing these college students to drop out: That could devastate the economy and their lives

Added 10-18-20 06:04:02pm EST - “During the COVID-19 pandemic, community college students are dropping out or sidelining their education. That could have devastating consequences.” - News.yahoo.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From News.yahoo.com: “COVID-19 is pushing these college students to drop out: That could devastate the economy and their lives”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Overwhelmed at the juggling act of three full-time gigs – as a community college student, an employee and a mom – Justice crumbled. She ignored reminder emails from her instructors to send in her assignments. “I wasn’t comprehending what I was reading. I was looking at diagrams that made no sense.” On Zoom work meetings, she noted her pale complexion and dark under-eye circles. Her appetite disappeared. She snapped at her 17-year-old daughter, Josiah, a high school senior also cooped up inside their small apartment. 

“Being a community college student, it’s a balancing act,” says Justice, 39, a student at Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington, about 50 miles south of Seattle. “And at any moment, the scales could tip.” 

Across the country, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend normalcy and infects Americans, students of every level are trying to adjust to virtual learning and socially distanced schools. But the virus and the ensuing recession have taken a particularly hard toll on community college students like Justice. They’re often older, balancing school and full-time work. Many are single parents. Statistically, they’re often the first in their family to pursue post-secondary education and likely to come from a lower socioeconomic bracket – which impacts access to distance learning necessities like high-speed internet. 

And during the pandemic, they’re dropping out or sidelining their education plans. For these students, delaying their education could have devastating consequences.

Race- and class-based gaps already rampant in college achievement could grow to a gaping chasm, experts fear, long after the virus is under control.

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