In a pandemic, college students major in uncertainty

Diamond Syas takes a selfie before commencement.
Diamond Syas takes a selfie with two fellow graduates before heading to commencement outside John F. Kennedy High School in 2016. This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, high school and college seniors aren't sure if or when they'll experience a graduation ceremony.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

Colleges and universities across the country are figuring out how to deal with a school year disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and institutions in Minnesota are no exception.

Students have returned home, classes are online, schools are paying out refunds for room and board and graduation ceremonies have been postponed. On top of that, poor enrollment numbers are predicted as families struggle economically and campus visits are put on hold.

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with three experts on how the health crisis is affecting students and the institutions themselves.


  • Mai Nhia Xiong-Chan is vice president of enrollment management at Hamline University in St. Paul.

  • Jenny Moore is the coordinator of the Career Pathways program at White Bear Lake Area High School.

  • Katy Briggs is a University of Minnesota student and the communications director for the Minnesota Students Association.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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