As classes at colleges and universities across the United States are moved online, and as some students are being told to move out of their residence halls, the COVID-19 coronavirus is creating more uncertainty.
A commentary from CNN argues that forcing students to leave campus is likely to have a disparate effect on low-income students who may not the resources to return home or connect to online classes.
Many schools do not yet have a clear public plan for how to handle students who can’t go home: those whose homes are in affected countries, those who are low-income and rely on financial aid for their housing, those whose homes don’t offer space conducive to learning (not every home has the fast WiFi connection necessary for online classes), those who may not have a bed or place to stay in their childhood homes, and those who support themselves and don’t have homes to go back to.
Many low-income students rely on their schools for housing, food, and income—including work-study income (the only income many international students can legally make).
Some first-generation college students also support family members back home by paying bills, sending cash and otherwise sharing their resources with a network of people who all rely on one another. An unexpected change can have dire consequences for a family.
Read more at American School and University