higher education

Coronavirus Factoring Into Parents Deciding Where to Send Kids to College

Parents of college-bound students answer questions about concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic in new Brian Communications survey

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College-bound seniors face a string of tough choices as the COVID-19 pandemic throws a wrench into the traditional, springtime decision-making process – and so do their parents, who are often the ones footing the bill for their tuition.

This story was first published in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

A new survey shows 40% of parents with college-bound seniors say they would now prefer their children attend a school closer to home if students return to campuses this fall, although 75% said they would consider paying for their child’s top choice if distance learning is an option. 

The survey, commissioned by Center City-based Brian Communications and conducted by market research firm Dynata between April 1 and April 3, asked 405 parents nationwide about their feelings on their children’s college futures in light of the coronavirus crisis. 

Overwhelmingly, the respondents said they needed to learn more about any school’s plan for handling a potential return to campus in the fall, with 85% saying they needed more information on what colleges and universities are doing to ensure student safety next year. 

“Each university is going to have to have a pretty robust plan for how that’s going to happen,” David Demarest, senior adviser for Brian Communications, told PBJ.com. “It has got to be in concert with health officials and probably some government agencies.” 

What do colleges and universities still need to figure out before next school year? PBJ.com takes a look.

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