There has been a lot of focus on how higher education institutions are dealing with the pandemic. Will classes be online in the Fall? How will the rigor of courses be maintained? Will there be budget cuts? How will the postsecondary model of education focus on the impact on students? Most of these conversations have focused on undergraduate students, faculty, and staff. One population that is often overlooked is the graduate student population. Who can they turn to for resources in this uncertain time?
Although the need to minimize the spread of COVID-19 is clear, colleges and universities’ closures have left many students, particularly those with a low-income intersectional background, with tough decisions to make.
Between being forced to move off-campus, navigating sophisticated resources to obtain the necessary materials to finish the semester from home, food insecurity, and numerous other obstacles, many students are being forced to make decisions that will have a significant impact on their educational, professional, and personal goals forever.
For many people, the pandemic is upsetting our financial security. But for students who haven’t yet entered the workforce, there is a whole other level of uncertainty and insecurity. We offer three tips for graduate students, particularly first-generation postgraduate students, to access the support and guidance they might need during this pandemic.