Legal News Reporter
Published: August 10, 2020
As educators and officials continue to mull over how to bring students back to their classrooms safely, a recent survey released by Junior Achievement USA finds nearly half of all 2020 high school graduates reported changing their post-graduation plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the JA COVID Grads Survey, 49% of those who graduated in 2020 said the pandemic caused them to alter their previous plans, with 32% stating they had decided to delay starting college.
Released in May 2020, the survey was conducted by Junior Achievement USA and Virginia-based Wakefield Research. It includes the responses of 1,000 recent high school graduates across the country.
Locally, Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio provides career-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy programs to more than 30,000 K-12 students annually. The North Central Ohio chapter serves 15 counties across the area, including Summit, Stark and Portage.
“This survey by Junior Achievement USA highlights key areas of focus for our organization, as we strive to be a resource to educators and our community this coming school year,” said Joshua Lehman, vice president of development at Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio. “During the spring semester, we immediately began compiling a free library of remote learning resources for educators, parents and students.”
In addition to impacting their post-graduation plans, 71% of respondents said the pandemic had affected a parent or guardian. More specifically 35% reported that a parent or guardian was working from home, 27% said a parent or guardian experienced a reduction in hours or pay and 12% stated they lost their jobs.
“Significant numbers of these students are now helping to support the household, which may play a role in the decision to postpone college,” said Lehman. “Sixteen percent of those surveyed said they decided to change career paths and 16% said the pandemic has changed the school they plan to attend.
“Grads also said COVID-19 changed the industry in which they want to work, the location where they want to work and the salary they want to earn,” he said. “On a positive note, only 5% said they no longer planned to attend college.
“Now more than ever it is essential that we provide an empowering environment for young people in our community and ensure that all of them have the tools that they need to be successful.”