How COVID-19 affects students saving money for college

  Due to COVID-19, the graduating class of 2020 has experienced an ending to their senior year like no one has before. The last semester of high school is meant to be spent face to face with friends, making memories, finding closure, and beginning to take the next step in life. Instead, the spring semester has been spent in quarantine, stuck at home, continuing education through online classes and virtual zooms. With little businesses up and running in all communities, students struggle to accomplish an important part of taking the next step in their educational life: working to save money for college.

  Students who spend all of their free time working to save money for college have lost a considerable amount of money that could have been put towards future financial needs.

  “Since we had to stay at home, I was worried about being able to make money. We had to close Trails for a while, so I wasn’t able to bring in money for college or my car payments and stuff like that,” senior, Trails café employee, Cailin Parks said.

  This lost ground due to quarantine and the economy being at a standstill will be difficult for money needing and eager students to make up.

  On the flip side, being quarantined has also kept students from spending money that could be saved.

  “…But being at home, I wasn’t going out for lunch, I wasn’t stopping and getting sonic drinks all the time, and I wasn’t going shopping. So even though I wasn’t making money for a while, I wasn’t spending it either,” Parks continued.

  Not all students will have their parents’ financial help in paying for college. With that, COVID-19 has put these students in a tough position.

  Other students, who have jobs deemed “essential”, continue to receive a paycheck but risk catching and spreading the coronavirus. Senior, Megan Lierz, is a certified nurses assistant at The Pines of Holton. “Being an essential worker has been hard because I am watching my friends and family have a bunch of free time while I am working more hours than ever to protect and care for my residents. It has helped me save more for college though! It is important for essential workers like me to be social distancing, quarantining, and only going out to their jobs to ensure everyone is safe,” Lierz said. Places like the Pines of Holton have set regulations regarding who can enter the building. Currently, no one but health workers are allowed.

  COVID-19 has affected students in multiple ways. As the community slowly begins to reopen, students will be able to get back to work and continue saving for college. Although no one saw this pandemic coming, students and all other people are learning to cope with the new financial situation and living situation in general.