Many colleges across the U.S. are still planning to offer in-person classes by the fall, despite rapidly growing COVID-19 case numbers throughout the country. Health experts warn that college campuses and neighborhoods could quickly become hotspots for the virus if social distancing restrictions aren’t followed. A new survey shows that a majority of college students understand this and are willing to sacrifice a semester or two of partying to stay safe and stop the spread.
In a joint survey from Axios and College Research, 76 percent of college students said they plan to attend campus this fall if given the choice by their college or university. Another 66 percent said they’d attend in-person classes if given the option, while two-thirds said they’d leave campus if a major outbreak was detected.
Many worry whether college students will be able to follow social distancing guidelines and avoid large gatherings. According to the survey, 79 percent of college students said they won’t attend parties if they happen near campus or in their city. Another 71 percent said they’d avoid sporting events if they’re allowed to resume. The Big 10 conference of universities has been one of the first to announce they will be continuing fall sports, however in-person attendance has yet to be determined.
Overall, this Axios/College Research survey points to a majority of college students eager to return to campus life, even if it is markedly different then it was last fall. And many – at least in this survey – are willing to forgo the parties and events if it means they’ll be able to keep a slice of normal college life.