College cost worries, online learning to remain after COVID-19

Roll Call

Caroline Simon
March 11, 2021
Many students may seek alternatives to four-year-degrees
Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic upended colleges and universities across the country, forcing students out of classrooms and online.
University faculty, students and staff alike hope that the steady pace of vaccinations will bring a return to normalcy. But for a sector often resistant to change, the pandemic has speeded a reckoning with skyrocketing costs and traditional instruction methods.
When college classes abruptly moved online in the spring of 2020, many college students found themselves shelling out high fees for an educational experience that did not match their expectations, and the accompanying economic recession left students struggling financially.
In the future, advocates say, students may think more carefully about the cost of college and the value they get for their investment.
“You spend all of this money to get a four-year degree and at the end of your four-year degree, you can’t even get a job,” said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators. “That’s why many students are looking at that option and saying, ‘Wait a minute — I may be better off pursuing a different path.’”