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Advice to the Class of 2020

Advice to the Class of 2020: How to Be Safe and Sensible About Attending College in This Year of Pandemic
Taking a year off to study online, at home, is an attractive option for many

By Chad Brown, President – Zane State College

Zanesville, OH – Cancelled trips and sports. No plays or proms. And no traditional graduation ceremonies. High school graduates in the Class of 2020 will remember their disrupted senior year as the spring of lost memories. COVID-19 kept thousands of Ohio graduates confined to their homes, unable to meet with their friends, or enjoy the traditional celebrations of senior year.

And as for this fall, what about college? For many with plans to attend a university, perhaps far from home, the pandemic has created an extra measure of uncertainty and concern. Even if their school of choice is planning to be open in September, questions abound. What will campus life be like? Will there be athletics? Will many classes be online or others I want not available at all? Will social distancing result in lonely residence halls and cafeterias?

Even more perplexing are questions raised by the pandemic’s economic impact. If a student’s family is facing financial difficulties due to the economic downturn, they may be asking, “Can I afford my original college plans?”

Fortunately, there is an excellent option available to address their concerns, providing safe and sensible opportunities for starting their college career. That choice is to defer enrollment at a university campus for a year (generally allowed at four-year institutions) and enroll at Zane State College. You can hear students explain why Zane State College is a GREAT option for 2020 high school grads by clicking here.

We are planning to offer a mix of remote and face-to-face courses this fall – including general education courses that may be applied to a bachelor’s degree. Complete course offering details for fall semester will be released by July 1, including our general education courses most of which are part of the Ohio Transfer Module, and are guaranteed to transfer to Ohio’s public colleges and universities. Students are encouraged to schedule time with a Zane State College student services representative to talk about how courses will easily transfer. Please email hello@zanestate.edu for assistance.

If you are interested in online course options, community colleges have been providing high-quality online classes for years, with highly qualified faculty and advisors who are able to meet the diverse needs of students. And the courses are affordable. Our fall semester tuition rate is only $179 per credit hour for residents of Ohio. We have FREE parking and students can sleep in their own beds and feel safe in their own home.

Ohio has a large number of high-quality public and private four-year universities and two-year community colleges. And the relationship between community colleges and four-year institutions here is long-standing and strong.

For a young person just out of high school, the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly scary. The key to overcoming those anxieties is to make good choices. At Zane State, we believe that higher education can be an essential foundation for that future, even in a time of pandemic. This is why the Class of 2020 – or anyone considering starting a college education – should consider Zane State College as a safe and sensible solution. I encourage you to visit Zane State’s “Comfort of Home” web site for additional information and details on next steps.

I wish each and every 2020 high school graduate all the best as they prepare for their life’s journeys. Zane State’s professors are our neighbors and friends who care about the success of students.



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