The Class of '23 missed the last part of ninth grade, and many missed chunks of 10th and 11th grade as well. Forty-two percent say they've changed their career or college plans because of the pandemic, according an ACT report. Students from lower-income families were more likely to say they'd changed their plans and were questioning whether they should go to college.
Students who'd seen their families struggle financially said they were worried about paying for college and considering less-expensive options.
Others said they weren't sure they were prepared..
“Before the pandemic I always looked towards college and furthering my academics, but once the pandemic hit it altered the way I looked at college. It made me struggle in my high school years and made me doubt whether or not college was the best choice down the road,” one Latino student said.
Some said they'd been overwhelmed by anxiety, depression and loneliness. “The pandemic really unmotivated me with being successful," said one student.
“The pandemic made me reconsider where I want to be in life and in the future," another said. "I felt lost.”
On the plus side, some students said they learned more about their own interests and were considering new career fields as a result.