A new report from ACT surveys 1,549 high school students from the class of 2023 about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their college and career choices.

According to the findings, nearly half (42 percent) of surveyed high school seniors report that the pandemic affected their thoughts on at least one college- or career-related choice (whether to attend college, what type of school to attend, which school to attend, which program of study or major to pursue, what career to pursue). A third (33 percent) of these students changed their thoughts on two or more choices.

When it came to college and career perceptions, students in certain income and racial/ethnic groups were more likely to be affected by the pandemic than students in other groups. A much higher percentage of students from low-income families (families with income equal to or less than $36,000) reported that their thoughts were influenced by the pandemic than did students from higher-income families.

Two out of 10 white students (22 percent) reported that the pandemic changed their thoughts about which school to attend, while about one third of Black, Asian, and Latinx students adjusted their thoughts on this choice.


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