The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many facets of normal life, and college students around the nation on the verge of graduating have wondered how the coronavirus pandemic may affect their college graduations. Many of the nation’s largest cities have become ghost towns as governments have mandated that families remain inside.
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Colleges Shut Down and Send Students Home
In the first days after the start of the pandemic, many colleges around the United States made swift moves in sending students home to take online classes in lieu of on-campus classes. Dormitories have been emptied, and classrooms have become dark.
According to a March 12th article from CNN, most colleges around the country canceled their in-person classes swiftly in order to help slow the progression of the pandemic. The logical question for many college students on the verge of graduating would likely be whether the cancellations would prevent them from graduating on time.
Some College Programs Have Been Cancelled
The option to participate in online classes has allowed many college students to continue their classes and have some hope of graduating on time. However, some programs have been entirely canceled by universities and colleges. For example, colleges with study abroad programs in Italy have canceled those programs outright rather than continue them and risk the health of their students.
An article from late February from CNBC indicates schools like Cornell University, Seton Hall University, and New York University have canceled their study abroad trips. These cancellations have likely led to scrambling by some college students to satisfy the graduation requirements of their college programs. There could be some college students who wouldn’t be able to graduate on time due to the program cancellations.
Many College Students May Not Walk Their Graduation
Walking across a stage to receive a diploma is a time-honored tradition for students in high school and college, but the emergence of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on this facet of college graduations. In a direct response to the coronavirus pandemic, many of the nation’s most well-known institutions have canceled their graduation ceremonies.
AZ Central indicates that many college seniors in Arizona won’t receive a cap and gown or walk the graduation stage because of COVID-19. Large gatherings have been banned by the government, and colleges have had to cancel their in-person graduation ceremonies as a result. In Arizona, schools that won’t hold commencement ceremonies include the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University.
But Arizona isn’t the only state to have canceled large gatherings of its citizens, and it’s not the only locale where graduation ceremonies have been postponed or canceled. Cancellations have swept the country in virtually every American state.
Virtually All Students Will Feel the Effects of COVID-19
It’s not just college graduations that have been disrupted by the coronavirus disaster. High school graduations and the classrooms of virtually all students in the country have been dramatically impacted by the “shelter in place” orders that have been handed down by governments across the country.
At the very worst, college students slated to walk the stage in 2020 might see their college graduation ceremonies canceled entirely in favor of mailed diplomas. At best, those college students might get to walk the stage in a symbolic ceremony held after the conclusion of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s certain that virtually every college student across the United States will see their college graduation impacted in some way because of COVID-19.