Percentage of Americans who think graduates should still have an in-person ceremony

Percentage of Americans who think graduates should still have an in-person ceremony

Eight in 10 graduating college students believe their college experience has been robbed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research.

The study asked 1,000 college students graduating this spring about their thoughts about the coronavirus’ impact on their final days as undergraduates.

And as students have transitioned from lecture halls to their living rooms, 66 percent of college students surveyed said the biggest hurdle of remote learning is staying motivated.


Another 59 percent said they’re having a hard time staying focused during online lectures.

With these complications, 69 percent of college students polled said they feel like they’re learning less due to the switch to remote learning.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Canva, the survey also found 35 percent of students surveyed worry they may not pass classes they need to graduate.

And with commencement ceremonies canceled, 59 percent of college students surveyed said they would be content with having their diplomas mailed to them.

However, 69 percent of respondents said they would likely attend a virtual commencement ceremony – with 35 percent saying they were “very likely” to attend.

Despite cancellations and postponements due to COVID-19, 71 percent of college students surveyed still plan on taking graduation photos and 47 percent still plan on sending graduation announcements.

Nearly four in 10 students also said they plan on having a virtual graduation party to celebrate.

The survey also polled 1,000 general population Americans and found 77 percent are sympathetic with the class of 2020 and feel sad they won’t have the final college experience of their commencement ceremony.

Sixty-four percent also said they believe universities should still hold a physical commencement ceremony for the class of 2020 once social distancing measures are lifted.

The survey also asked these respondents about their virtual event habits since they’ve entered self-isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respondents reported they’ve missed an average of four events but have attended five virtual events to make up for these cancellations.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed have hosted a virtual birthday party and 24 percent have hosted an anniversary party and a graduation party.

“Connecting with the ones you love may be in the form of a digital birthday celebration at such a unique time as we are in now, but it can also take the form of a card, photo or photo book created and sent to them to cherish for an even longer time,” said Jim Towle, Head of Print at Canva.

Despite staying in touch digitally, 68 percent of respondents said they’ve experienced increased feelings of loneliness.

And once social distancing measures are lifted, 72 percent of those surveyed said they plan on making up for lost time to make new memories with their loved ones.

“It is more important now than ever to stay positive and stay connected during this time of global isolation; reaching out to colleagues, friends and family to maintain that sense of human connection and belonging is vital,” added Towle.

Help is available, speak with a counselor today. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Most difficult parts of remote learning for the class of 2020

  1. Staying motivated: 66 percent
  2. Staying focused during online lectures: 59 percent
  3. Maintaining a normal schedule: 57 percent
  4. Communicating efficiently with my professor: 38 percent
  5. Maintaining a manageable workload: 33 percent
  6. Completing assignments on time: 33 percent
  7. Studying with a group: 29 percent

Top events missed due to COVID-19

  1. Birthday party: 64 percent
  2. Wedding: 49 percent
  3. Commencement ceremony: 49 percent
  4. Baby shower: 47 percent
  5. Graduation party: 47 percent
  6. Funeral/memorial service: 44 percent
  7. Anniversary party: 43 percent
  8. Divorce/divorce party: 28 percent

Top virtual events hosted during COVID-19

  1. Birthday party: 35 percent
  2. Baby shower: 29 percent
  3. Anniversary party: 24 percent
  4. Graduation party: 24 percent
  5. Commencement ceremony: 22 percent
  6. Wedding: 20 percent
  7. Funeral/memorial service: 17 percent
  8. Divorce/divorce party: 13 percent
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