Uncertainty for High School Seniors Making College Selections

"It’s hard not knowing what that will look like, and what a university’s commitment to those freshmen will be,” says one mom of a senior

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Friday is college decision day, when high school seniors traditionally commit to their college of choice, but this is not an ordinary year. Many schools have pushed decision day to June 1, due to all of the uncertainty.

“It's been a challenge, emotional for sure,” said mom Keri DeAngelis.

Her son Matthew is a senior who seriously considered taking a gap year before finally committing to Colby College. 

“I'm not concerned about committing, but it’s hard not knowing what that will look like, and what a university’s commitment to those freshmen will be,” DeAngelis said.

The DeAngelises also worry about making such a large financial investment with so many unknowns. 

“It is something my husband and I are certainly concerned about,” DeAngelis said.

Don Kerr is AAA Northeast's senior manager of student lending. He advises people to look at how robust a school’s online learning courses are.

“Some schools are more traditional and haven't embraced online learning yet, but other schools are kind of far ahead of that curve,” Kerr said.

So many high school seniors are going to be missing out on events like graduation and prom, but Saugus is offering special ways to honor the class.

He said families now facing financial instability because of COVID-19 should ask for help.

“If you're impacted by it, reach out to your school. Let them know what's happened since you filled out your financial aid forms and they may be able to do more for you,” Kerr said. 

College-bound students will wait to hear from their schools, as they make decisions about when to re-open campuses and how to go about it. The DeAngelis' are hoping for the best. 

“It worries me to think about him sitting at home, in the same desk, and place where he's done his work for high school and not making that transition, not make that leap of independence and not being in that environment,” DeAngelis said.

The transition to remote learning has been hard on community colleges, which don't have the resources of other colleges and universities.
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