A new survey from YouthTruth, a national nonprofit, reveals concerning impacts from the pandemic for American students. The survey, which queried more than 200,000 students in grades 3-12, found an uptick in mental health concerns and a downturn in college hopes.
About the survey
YouthTruth surveyed 153,475 students in grades 6-12 and 53,910 students in grades 3-5. Students attended 585 schools in 19 states. (North Carolina was not included.) Students submitted survey responses between January-May 2021.
Most students reported learning virtually in 2021.
- 14% attended school in person.
- 64% attended school virtually.
- 20% attended school in a hybrid environment.
Key findings–mental health
A number of challenges have made learning difficult for students. Here are the top three:
- 49% cited “feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious.”
- 38% cited “distractions at home and family responsibilities.”
- 27% cited “my health or the health of my family members.”
The percentage of students who report feeling depressed, stressed, or anxious has risen steadily, from 39% in Spring 2020 to 46% in Fall 2020 to 49% in Spring 2021. Students also perceive that adults at school are less accessible than they were before the pandemic.
Key findings–college hopes
More high school seniors say their plans are shifting as the pandemic continues.
- In Spring 2020, 18% said their plans were changing.
- A year later, in Spring 2021, 28% said their plans were changing.
What are seniors planning to do after graduation?
- 48% said they planned to attend a four-year college, down from 52% before COVID.
- 20% said they planned to attend a two-year college.
- 8% said they planned to work full-time.
- 10% said they were unsure.
Read a full report about the survey from the 74 here.