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Arad Golan Coll for Money

With the novel coronavirus creating uncertainty around a traditional campus experience this fall, some high school seniors are considering postponing college for a year. Curtis, a New York City senior, is excited to put down a deposit at the Northeast liberal arts college that accepted him. But he’s not sure fall 2020 is the right time to start.

“If I’m paying a lot of money to go, I would want to have [in-person] teachers to help me, and be able to make connections with other students,” he says. He’s putting all gap ideas on the table but is considering looking for a local internship, possibly in city planning.

Curtis—who didn’t want his last name published as he decides whether to enroll—isn’t alone. According to a late-March survey by SimpsonScarborough, a marketing and research firm, about 20% of its high school respondents planning on enrolling in a four-year college say it's likely they'll change their plans due to the coronavirus. A Carnegie Dartlet survey of nearly 5,000 seniors revealed that confidence about affording college is down.

College officials, meanwhile, have started talking publicly about contingency plans if they’re unable to fully open campuses in August or September.

If you're considering a gap year because of the coronavirus, here’s what your family should know.