‘Living in my car’? Fall semester online means college students are scrambling for housing, Wi-Fi

Christel Deskins

When California State University announced May 12 the school would be online for the fall semester, Graciela Moran thought she might end up homeless.

The San Bernardino student is immunocompromised and had been living in her dorm as a residential assistant. But along with the Cal State announcement, her contract ended and her stipend was taken away. Her father, a carpet installer, had to keep working during the city’s increase in coronavirus infections, so she couldn’t move home without putting herself at risk.

“I was really thinking about living in my car,” she said. Her mind raced as she weighed finding a full-time job that would allow her to afford an apartment.

But the college stepped in. A COVID-19 relief fund from the Basic Needs Department provided the fifth-year senior, who is also the school’s student body president, with the payment she needed to stay in her dorm room. When

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How to Navigate Online College Classes as a Student With Disabilities

Christel Deskins

As the fall semester begins and students head back to class, many are doing so virtually. Colleges are taking coronavirus prevention precautions, with hundreds opting for fully or partially online classes.

But what does the shift to online classes mean for students with disabilities?

To get a sense of what lies ahead, it may be useful to look back at the spring semester, when campuses closed and classes were suddenly shifted online, forcing students with disabilities to make quick adjustments.

Lessons Learned From the Spring Semester Online

One advantage that college officials have to plan for the fall is the ability to look back on the spring of COVID-19.

“Accommodations that had been approved for (face-to-face) communication were revisited, depending on the disabled students’ needs,” Mary Lee Vance, director of services for students with disabilities at California State University–Sacramento, wrote in an email.

While “not all students experienced a need

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Smell Tests for COVID-19 Are Coming to a College Near You

Christel Deskins

ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP via Getty Images
ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP via Getty Images

When Carthage College students begin returning to campus in Kenosha, Wisconsin, next week, two very non-traditional welcome back gifts will await them: a thermometer, and a scratch-and-sniff smell test card.

Temperature checks as a way to quickly provide a gauge for a common symptom of the novel coronavirus aren’t exactly uncommon in the United States. But smell tests are relative newcomers to the screening scene. Both will be part of daily self-monitoring at the liberal arts college.

“Losing your sense of smell is an early symptom—sometimes the only symptom—of COVID,” Leslie Cameron, a psychology professor and expert on sensory perception at Carthage, told The Daily Beast. “We should be testing for it.”

Carthage is among a growing number of schools, businesses, and other institutions looking to leverage growing knowledge of how COVID-19 can wreak havoc on the olfactory system to make something resembling safe reopening

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What Will College Look Like in Fall 2020?

Christel Deskins

From Seventeen

Any other year, incoming college freshmen would be filled with giddy anticipation at this very moment, counting down the weeks until they get to step on to their awaiting campus. They’d be making a packing list, trying to decide whether or not their beloved stuffed animal should make the journey to their dorm room or stay behind with their high school years. They’d be awkwardly chatting with their future roommates, comparing sleep schedules, asking about majors, and subtly trying to figure each other out.

While some 17 and 18-year-olds are doing that right now, many are not. Instead, they’re getting ready to buckle down for another semester of Zoom classes. They’re trying to imagine living under their parent’s roof for the next few months, instead of on the dorm floor like they planned. This semester, the coronavirus pandemic is forcing hundreds of thousands of college students to stay

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College football players deserves answers amid uncertainty

Christel Deskins

The people running college football owe the players an answer. With the 2020 season on the brink and the careers of the athletes in flux, there’s a simple question that no coach, administrator or commissioner can answer right now: “What’s next?”

All signs over the weekend continued to point to a great unwinding of the 2020 college football season. At the same time, a unified and unprecedented movement began on Sunday night – led by Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and linked by the #WeWantToPlay hashtag – to potentially give players a seat at the table as the decisions are made on the future of the sport. By late Sunday, there had been buy-in from players in all major conferences and the hope to “ultimately create a College Football Players Association.”

This unfolded in the wake of Big Ten presidents meeting for consecutive days to discuss the fate of the season, and

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Half of College Students Plan to Return to Campus for Fall Semester

Christel Deskins

Students enrolling in college for the 2020-21 school year are facing a very different set of circumstances than ever before. With the coronavirus pandemic still surging across the U.S., many colleges have delayed reopening for the new semester and instead, are sticking with online learning. Other schools plan to hold in-person classes, but with social distancing and other safety measures in place.

But are students willing to head back to campus? According to the findings of the latest Student Loan Hero survey, 1 in 3 students do feel ready to return. But an even greater number (about 45%) said they would prefer to take classes online. And the majority of students want a tuition discount for this new model of remote learning.

Here’s what we found from our survey of 1,050 full-time college students.

Key findings Just over a third — 34% — of college students will return to campus

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What to know about sending your kids to college during the pandemic

Christel Deskins

How to go back to college safely during the pandemic
How to go back to college safely during the pandemic

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With the end of summer drawing near, college students and their parents are preparing for a new semester. But for most, going back to school this year will likely look a lot different amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Some colleges and universities are reopening as fully virtual this fall, while others will offer a mix of both online and in-person classes. Those that are choosing to invite students back to campus are doing so with strict sanitation procedures in place along with new changes, like reduced class sizes, solo dorm rooms, and limited dining options. Some are even closing campus after fall break to reduce any risk from out-of-state students who are traveling.

Product advice right to your inbox: We sort

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Rowan College To Offer In-Person, Remote Learning This Fall

Christel Deskins

BURLINGTON COUNTY, NJ — Rowan College at Burlington County will offer a limited number of on-campus courses this fall as the college prepares to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At the same time, the college said it will offer new types of online courses to increase engagement in the course while reducing the number of people on campus. For those who are on campus, measures will be in place to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, according to the college’s website.

The college submitted a plan to the state on July 7 so that it could reopen its labs for summer courses. Officials said many of the details for the fall reopening plan were included in the submission, but those plans could change as they hear from the community and the pandemic evolves.

New Jersey Coronavirus Updates: Don’t miss local and statewide announcements about novel coronavirus precautions. Sign up

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The New College Drop-Off

Christel Deskins

Matthew and Audrey Lorence at their home in Needham, Mass., July 28, 2020. (Katherine Taylor/The New York Times)
Matthew and Audrey Lorence at their home in Needham, Mass., July 28, 2020. (Katherine Taylor/The New York Times)

Maureen Rayhill of Seattle sounds like a public health official as she describes the current process for coronavirus testing, rattling off research she’s done on in-person testing centers versus mail-order companies and how their turnaround times for results compare. But she’s not. She’s a mother, just trying to get her oldest child to college.

The poignant annual tradition of college drop-off — parents driving the new, nervous college student to school, bringing along brothers and sisters to see their sibling’s new home, setting up the tiny dorm room together, sharing one last meal with the entire family, then waving goodbye as the almost-adult runs off with a big pack of possible new best friends — has become the latest family milestone rendered almost unrecognizable by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rayhill, 49, has already

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How to Find an Accredited College Online (and Avoid the Scams)

Christel Deskins

There are many college options out there, and one of them includes online schooling. But if you’re looking to get a remote degree, it’s important to know how to find an accredited college online.

Many traditional universities offer online-only programs along with on-campus learning, and some colleges are mostly or even 100% online. And while lesser-known online college programs can get a bad rap, there are good programs out there that don’t have marquee names. However, it’s important to avoid the poor programs and scams that do exist.

Here are four things to know as search for the right accredited online college for you.

How accreditation works for online collegesHow to find an accredited college online9 red flags of a shady online schoolA final word of caution about online collegesHow does accreditation for online colleges work?

In order for an online college — or any college — to become accredited,

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