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College in the time of coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted daily life for weeks now. In some ways, it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But we will get past this. There is life after coronavirus. And almost all of us are planning for that brighter future in some way.

But every spring — pandemic or no pandemic — there is a group of people ardently planning their futures in a way that will be unmatched for the rest of their lives. For high school seniors, there are so many decisions to make and things to figure out. Will they go to college? If so, where will they go to college? What must they accomplish to reach that goal? What will be their major, and to what eventual career do they hope that major will lead? Student-athletes are considering whether they will play a sport.

Here in Hampton Roads, high school seniors are fortunate to have a great organization like the ACCESS College Foundation to help them. The organization has advisors in 33 high schools in the area, who are available to help students who want to go to college but need some help navigating the process. College applications, standardizes tests and financial aid are tricky propositions under the best of circumstances, but some students need some additional help. Some students are aspiring to become the first in their family to go to college, and their parents are unfamiliar with everything it takes. Some students have family dynamics or family finances that may make them think college is out of the question. No matter what the hardship is, the ACCESS advisors are they to help college-bound students toward their goal.

This spring, there is an additional hardship for the class of 2020: the coronavirus. This pandemic has upended their senior year and left them wondering if they’ll still be able to look forward to a future with college.

The ACCESS advisors, of course, have stepped up to provide virtual help. They’re still able to connect with their students using all kinds of technology and help resolve issues with college applications and financial aid electronically.

We commend the ACCESS College Foundation and its advisors for their hard work and for the high school seniors who are keeping on through these circumstances.