Personal Finance

Colleges extend decision deadline amid coronavirus, students reconsider

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College acceptance letters are already in the mail. Now high school seniors must decide their fate for September.

Up until now, National College Decision Day, the deadline for high school seniors to choose which college they will attend, has always been May 1.

This year, however, the global coronavirus pandemic and extreme economic uncertainty have pushed many schools to extend the deadline until June 1.

“I can’t imagine that families broadly will have any understanding of the impact of this moment on their finances,” said Marie Bigham, and executive director of advocacy group Admissions Community Cultivating Equity and Peace Today, or ACCEPT. ACCEPT has a running list of colleges that have extended their deposit deadlines. 

“The investments that families set aside to pay for college are taking a financial hit, and parents who may have planned to pay for their student’s tuition — or even students who planned to work their own way through college — are now unsure if those jobs and paychecks will be available to them in the future,” said Anne Huntington, president of the Huntington Learning Center.

Heightened by fears of a sharp economic slowdown, more students and families are now more likely to choose local and less-expensive public schools rather than private universities far from home, according to Robert Franek, editor in chief of The Princeton Review and author of “The Best 385 Colleges.”

Many students who have wanted to go to school in major cities like Los…



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