The share of incoming college freshmen who said they were likely or highly likely to change their mind about which school to attend this fall because of COVID-19 increased from 8 percent in April to 40 percent in July, according to a survey conducted by SimpsonScarborough, an Alexandria, Va., firm that researches higher education issues. Students planning to attend a private college or university were more likely than students planning to attend a public institution to say they likely would change their mind. (Numbers may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding by the source.)

Source: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education,” SimpsonScarborough, August 2020,

Data for the graphic are as follows:

Response Percentage Surveyed in April Percentage Surveyed in July
Likely 5% 20%
Highly Likely 3% 20%
Unlikely 28% 26%
Highly Unlikely 53% 31%
Too Soon to Say 9% 4%

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