The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Low-Income Students, Part 1: Data and Survey Results
Over the past several months an increasing number of articles have addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aspects of higher education. While its impact on students was recognized quickly, many of the early articles focused on the fiscal losses incurred by our institutions, the potential impact on enrollments for 2020–21, and the rapid move to all-online instruction in spring 2020. Thanks to some of our institutional leaders and other external groups who thought it wise to survey students and faculty during that tumultuous spring semester, we have recently been able to report on how students perceived the switch to online instruction and what areas of online instruction require improvement. We focus here on the unprecedented impact that the pandemic has had on low-income, or under-resourced, students and, in part 2, on some steps that our institutions can take to ameliorate those effects. The information that we use was compiled from several published articles, the aforementioned student surveys, and website sources plus a student survey (Hansen et al., 2020a) that was conducted at our home institution late in the spring 2020 semester.