College bound: high school seniors making choices from home

Posted at 7:13 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 00:26:24-04

COLORADO — From virtual tours to video conference meetings with advisers- this college decision season is looking much different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canceled campus visits paired with missed experiences such as Prom and Graduation, high school Seniors are feeling all sorts of feelings.

"It sucks," said Lauren Smith, a Senior at Prairie View High School in Henderson, "everything is basically canceled that we've been looking forward to for the past four years and now we don't even get to experience it," said Smith.

Smith is one of many High School Seniors echoing that sentiment. As a student wanting to study nursing, she's currently decided between a few schools. As of Monday, she's leaning towards Grand Canyon University, one of the schools she was able to visit before the pandemic hit.

She initially had plans to make a spring break trip to tour other schools, but after canceling, it's made things challenging in her college decision process.

The pandemic isn't just impacting the students. College Admissions staff are getting creative as well. Colorado College is offering virtual meetings and tours. The online tour was something created last August. College staff never knew how much they'd rely on it.

"It was kind of a nice thing for families that couldn't make it to campus to get a sense of the campus, and now that is everyone," said Matt Bonser, Director of Admissions Systems, Operations & International at Colorado College.

Local Colleges and Universities say it could have an impact on enrollment.

University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is noticing a different trend. Currently, more students are reporting to the University with a "maybe" option.

"Usually our folks this time of year are saying yes I'm coming or no I'm not," said Mathew Cox Senior Executive Director of Enrollment Management at UCCS.

Some of those undecided students are figuring out if they want to stay closer to home or go out of state.

That's the case for Cassidy Ruddy, a Senior at Doherty High School currently decided between University of Hawaii or University of Colorado- Boulder. Ruddy says she tried signing up for a virtual tour with CU Boulder, but many of the slots have been filled.

"That's been a big struggle, so many now that's it all virtual so many people are trying to reach out to them," said Ruddy.