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NSHSS Student Voices of America Survey

American Students Show Hope and Optimism

Their View of Online Learning Is a Little Less Rosy

In a recent survey conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), students in high school and college in all 50 states responded to 10 questions about their outlook on their educations, the economy, the wellbeing of their family and friends, and their futures. The resounding sentiment is one of hopefulness and optimism in the face of the dramatic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their lives. Strikingly, more than 80% of the 2000 respondents stated being “Very hopeful” or “Pretty hopeful” about the health of their family and friends (82%) and their ability to achieve a college education (94%), graduate on time (86%), and secure a job (83%).  When asked how they would feel if their schools were still online in the fall, roughly half (53%) said they prefer in-person classes but could deal with e-learning. A third of the students (32%) said they would rather not attend school in the fall if it is online.

When asked about the overall U.S. economy, 48% of the students are “Not so hopeful,” yet 68% are either “Very hopeful” or “Pretty hopeful” about our nation’s ability to overcome COVID-19. Most students expect to be able to socialize in person again by the end of August, and they anticipate that things will be back to normal by the end of the year. More than 40% don’t see a return to normalcy until sometime in 2021 or 2022.

NSHSS also asked students to share the most positive things that have come of the pandemic and sheltering in place. More time for family, learning new skills, sleep, and self-care stood out among their responses. The image below is a word cloud representation of the answers.

Methodology

The NSHSS Student Voices of America Survey was distributed to high school and college age students nationwide, including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and D.C. The survey was open for one week from Saturday, April 18, 2020 to Sunday, April 26, 2020, during which time more than 2000 students answered the questions.

 

Survey Questions asked to Members

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  • Very hopeful 
  • Pretty hopeful 
  • Not so hopeful 
  • Hopeless  
  • Very hopeful 
  • Pretty hopeful 
  • Not so hopeful 
  • Hopeless  
  • Very hopeful 
  • Pretty hopeful 
  • Not so hopeful 
  • Hopeless  
  • Very hopeful 
  • Pretty hopeful 
  • Not so hopeful 
  • Hopeless  
  • Very hopeful 
  • Pretty hopeful 
  • Not so hopeful 
  • Hopeless  
  • A couple of months 
  • By the end of the year 
  • Sometime in 2021 
  • Sometime in 2022 
  • Never, based on other pandemic threats  
  • Great. I like online classes! 
  • No impact--positive or negative. 
  • I prefer in-person classes, but could deal. 
  • Ugh. I'd rather not.