high school graduates

Four in ten students (40%) surveyed say COVID-19 has affected their plans to pay for college. Over one third (35%) who are planning to attend college are now less excited for it.

According to a new survey by Junior Achievement (JA) and the PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF) nearly half (49%) of graduating seniors say their post-secondary plans have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over a third (36%) will now work, 33% will have a delayed start date, and 16% have even changed the career path they wish to pursue. The survey of 1,000 U.S. teens in the high school class of 2020 was conducted by Wakefield Research for JA and PMIEF in support of new educational initiatives by the two organizations.

Of the forty percent of graduating seniors that work, 49% say they or their families depend on their income for living expenses.

Four in ten students (40%) surveyed say COVID-19 has affected their plans to pay for college.

Over one third (35%) who are planning to attend college are now less excited for it.

The biggest concerns of those planning to attend college are the impact of COVID-19 on classes and academic quality (58%), dorm life (53%), athletics and school-sponsored events (44%), and dining halls (40%). 

Tomi Ijiyode, a 2020 graduate of Patrick Henry High School, says that although she still plans to attend college, she wonders how the experience will be changed. Many students realize that the upcoming school year may not look exactly how they envisioned it. 

“It’s kind of sad that we won’t get our true freshman college experience. Everything may look different or be put on hold,” she explained.

"It's not surprising that the Class of 2020 has been reconsidering its plans in light of COVID-19," said Lori Dossett, Director of Marketing & Communications of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. “I think what is surprising are the types of life-altering decisions being made now without a clear idea of what the coming weeks and months will bring. That's why it's imperative we get as much information as possible to teens to help them navigate these uncertain times."

To help meet that need, Junior Achievement and the PMI Educational Foundation have teamed together on two educational initiatives to help teens better plan for the future. The first is the JA Economic Resources website to help students and adults become educated consumers of economic information, featuring resources and information from PMIEF. The second is Project Management 4 All, a new online game that introduces teens to the concepts of project management and planning. A video that showcases project management careers complements the game.

According to the survey, three-in-four respondents (74%) say they would be interested in a career that fits the description of project management. Most respondents (94%) believe that they excel at traits that align with project management, including problem-solving, teamwork, organization, and multi-tasking. Two-thirds (66%) say they would be interested in exploring a career in project management because they would be able to prepare for and work in the profession even in light of the realities of COVID-19's impact on the economy.

Learn more at www.jaum.org.

PMIEF.org for more information.

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