How COVID-19 Will Affect The Fall Semester

Advertiser Disclosure

Unbiased Content. Factual Advice.
In order to provide top tier advice from industry professionals - for free - we partner with sponsors. This post contains affiliate links and we will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
We want you to know this does not impact the quality of our content as writers are not influenced by this process. Links are added after the article is finalized. By doing this, we strive to bring you the most straightforward, factual advice to help you through your 20s. Learn more about our content process here.

Shorter Version

Est. Reading Time: 2 Minutes

The fall semester is upon us (ready or not), and college life is going to look tremendously different this year. Whether you are attending community college, a large public university, a private mid-size college, or any other kind of higher education institution, it is important to be aware of how COVID-19 will affect the fall semester in 2020.

What to know

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in numerous ways, specifically impacting employment and job status, the economy, and healthcare industries. Another area that has been impacted is higher education. Classroom size, campus housing, dining halls, and athletic events are just a few examples of elements affected by the coronavirus, leaving institutions to make significant adjustments to some of the most “traditional” components of the university/college experience.

How COVID-19 will affect the fall semester

Since COVID-19 began to sweep across the United States, plans that higher education administrations have enacted have been shifted, adjusted, and re-adjusted, only to be changed again a few days later. Though it might be frustrating and confusing, it is very important that you remain patient and open-minded during these unprecedented times. Your health and safety is the top priority, and institutions are doing their best to ensure a safe learning environment upon your return.

Because every college and university is responding differently, it is not realistic to provide a full, comprehensive list of exactly how the fall semester will be impacted by COVID-19. However, you can prepare in advance by checking for updates from your respective institution. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Go online to the school’s website
  • Call your academic advisor, admissions officer, or other university resources
  • Log into your student portal and check your email

Additionally, if you are using financial aid, the GI Bill, scholarships, or other forms of tuition assistance, make sure to contact the appropriate office to ensure that everything is squared away before the fall semester begins.

How to prepare

Attending college in the next semester might bring about significant uncertainty in many aspects of life. Therefore, I recommend you embrace the journey and focus on what you can control. This situation might challenge your adaptability and potentially test your grit and patience, so it is critical to stay flexible and open-minded as plans unfold.

Expert tip: Educate yourself on your university’s protocols to avoid being blindsided. Stay informed and make a plan.

As mentioned above, many components of higher education will need to be amended in order to ensure the safety of all students. If you will be switching to online classes, educate yourself on ways you can be successful. Some institutions are incorporating a hybrid class format while others will have a rotating system (group A attending in-person for one week, and will swap with group B the following week, for example).

Regardless of how your institution has decided to proceed, stay flexible, and remember that you are still receiving an education – it is simply in a modified format.

Check out the actionable steps below for more to-do items to set yourself up for success.

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1
coaching session!

A Gift For You

Win a free 1:1 coaching session!

Actionable Steps


Remain current

Protocols are changing frequently. Therefore, the most important actionable step for you to take is to stay current and informed on how your institution is responding to COVID-19.


Stay positive

There is a lot of uncertainty right now, so we recommend you stay positive, patient, and keep an open mind. You are still receiving an education, just potentially in a modified form.


Seek assistance and stay connected

Although the fall 2020 semester might be different than what you anticipated, you still have access to your peers, instructors, and campus resources. If you have questions or are struggling in any way, seek assistance and ask for help. Take advantage of technology and arrange a virtual meeting or call with your instructors, classmates, or advisor. You are not alone!


Read more on this topic

You can learn more about how COVID-19 will affect the fall semester by reading the following articles, reviewed to be the best by our professionals: Higher Education Responds to Coronavirus (COVID-19) by National Conference of State Legislatures, COVID-19 Roundup: Colleges Shift Strategy in Waves by, and Five Ways COVID-19 Will Impact Fall College Enrollments by Forbes.

Coaches For All Your Self-Improvement Needs!

About the Author

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Dr. Alyssa Harmon-Salter

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Alyssa holds an Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. For the last 7 years, she has coached hundreds of college students on how to be successful academically and in prepping for a job.
Full Bio | LinkedIn

favouriteLoadingAdd to Favorites


Finding Purpose
I am a health, career, and life coach. I genuinely want to help everyone find their calling, whether it is finding a happier version of ...



Sue Wang

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

How to Store Seasonal Food Long-Term

Trying to save money by buying in bulk and storing food? Use these tips on how to store food long-term to save money and eat well.

Hey there! Let’s get started.

Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Hey there! Join for free.

Access 1,000+ resources to change your life today. Sign up with email
Have an account? Log in
Are you a coach? Click here
By signing up, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Sign in with email

All sign in options

Welcome Back

Sign in with email
Don’t have an account? Sign up
By signing in, I agree to this platform’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Win a FREE Coaching Session

Achieve success like member Michael M - our coaches helped him to increase his salary by $60,000! Enter to win a free session with a self-improvement coach on our Sweepstakes page today.