Teens saving for college suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic


Photo by Sam Elletson

Taco Johns has had to move to drive through only due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have had to lay off workers leaving them jobless because they do not have enough jobs with nobody able to come inside due to new rules set in place by the government.

Sam Elletson, Podcast Reporter

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many teens who were actively saving for college are now unemployed. The pandemic changed their financial plan greatly. Minnesota offers an unemployment benefit except it is only applicable to people who have held a job for a period over five years, which makes it especially difficult for teens looking to save money for college.

“I am a bit scared, to be honest, because now I’m going to have to work extra to make up for this lost time,” senior Quinn Kelley said.

Some teens responding to this pandemic have tried getting a new job since getting laid off, but not many places are hiring. Many places are not hiring and having to lay off workers because of new rules in place forcing businesses to move to a safer setting needing less workers.

“I have tried applying everywhere, but I’ve had no luck finding a place to work,” senior Elise Riniker said.

Senior Ethan Selph was planning on going to Clemson University in North Carolina. Out of state tuition is about $40,000 per year. Now, after being laid off, he is unsure. Even though Selph was accepted into his dream school, the current pandemic may have shattered these dreams. He still has hope and is considering working extra hours in the summer once, or if, the pandemic is over by then.

This may be a tough time but I know we all can get past this and when it is over, looking back it will be crazy this happened in our lifetime.”

— Ethan Selph

Colleges could potentially become cheaper due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it is also a possibility it may not change or the cost may increase due to some college students suing colleges because they are not getting the same college experience having to switch to online schooling. Harvard reported that because students have been forced to go to online schooling, it could change colleges and schools into a more virtual setting. It could also open up more options to online schools as to normal schools.

“If Clemson reduced the tuition cost after this situation is over, it would be the best situation I could hope for,” Selph said.

Riniker explained how prior to the pandemic she planned on going to the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She was working almost everyday holding a winter job at Afton Alps and a summer job at a golf course. Now that both of those places are closed, she is jobless. Her financial plan she had planned on saving enough money to meet with her parents to be able to afford to go to the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She has three other siblings and her parents cannot afford spending extra money on one’s tuition. To make up the extra money, she plans on working two jobs in the summer and picking up extra shifts when possible.

Kelley talked about before the pandemic he planned on going to University of Minnesota – Duluth. He was actively working at Taco John’s year round for most of his high school career. Due to Taco John’s having very few customers and having to close down in store service, he got laid off and is now jobless as well. He is now looking into going to trade school because he is worried college may be too expensive for him and trade school could provide a financially better option.

“This may be a tough time but I know we all can get past this and when it is over, looking back it will be crazy this happened in our lifetime,” Selph said.