Originally Posted: Mar 20, 2020
Last Updated: Feb 23, 2021
The novel coronavirus is still spreading across the US, and information is changing rapidly. Life as we knew it has changed dramatically since the US government has encouraged Americans to practice social distancing by staying home as much as possible and avoiding crowds in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
We know this is a scary, confusing, and unprecedented situation. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself, remain calm, and use your time at home productively.
We’ve gathered all the best info to help students get through these uncertain times. You can use this index to find the most accurate information and recommendations to stay safe and healthy; the latest stories from CX you need to know about; resources to help you keep up with your schoolwork and the college and scholarship search; and ways to entertain yourself while you’re stuck at home.
The most accurate COVID-19 info
These are the best resources for the most up-to-date and accurate information on the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shares what you need to know concerning symptoms, prevention measures and how to protect yourself, community resources, and other important updates and recommendations.
- Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak | WHO: The World Health Organization offers situation updates, research and development, travel advice, myths vs. facts, and much more.
- Local Public Health Departments | NACCHO: Use this tool from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to search for local health departments in your area and find contact information by state or ZIP Code.
- How to Properly Wash Your Hands | CNA Classes Near Me: Learn the proper steps for handwashing to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases with this Certified Nursing Assistants training material.
What you should know from CX
Here's all the news we're sharing on the situation. Check back regularly for updates!
- What Are Schools Doing About COVID-19?: Many schools and colleges are closing because of the coronavirus pandemic. Find out how they are taking action and how you can stay safe and healthy.
- COVID-19 and Deposit Deadlines: Many colleges and universities are extending their enrollment deposit deadlines because of coronavirus. Is yours one of them? Find out here.
- How COVID-19 Is Affecting Standardized Tests: The coronavirus seems to be affecting just about everything related to the college search, including SAT and ACT test dates in May and June. Find out what's changed here.
- The Effects of COVID-19 on Study Abroad: The COVID-19 pandemic has majorly affected future and current study abroad students. Learn what you should do if you're either one!
- Moving Out and Moving Online Amid a Pandemic: Many college students are being forced to leave their dorms as campuses close down for the semester. Here's what you should know if you have to move out quickly and transition to online classes at home.
- COVID-19: Why Is Social Distancing Important?: You’re young and healthy, so why should YOU have to take part in “social distancing”? Find out why we all play a crucial role in stopping the spread of coronavirus.
- COVID-19: How to Cope With Anxiety: Coronavirus has a lot of us feeling anxious and worried: for our health, for our education, for our family and friends. Here's how you can deal with it.
- COVID-19: Look for the Helpers: Need a break from all the frightening news lately? Read about these heartwarming acts of love, bravery, and kindness in the midst of the COVID-10 outbreak.
- How to Celebrate World Health Day During a Pandemic: April 7 is World Health Day! Celebrate by learning about and practicing the latest health and safety recommendations from the CDC and WHO.
- 4 Ways to Pay for College in the Face of COVID-19: Wondering how you and your family can afford college right now? Here are four ways to pay that you may not have realized were available to you.
- What to Know About Student Loans and the Pandemic: With COVID-19 putting a major strain on the economy, the US government is doing what they can to provide student loan borrowers some financial relief. Here's what you should know.
- COVID-19: AP Test Changes You Need to Know About: Unlike the SAT and ACT, this year's AP Tests haven't been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic—but there are some major changes you should be aware of. Learn more here.
- In This Together: Ideas for When You Need Cheering Up: See how real students are coping with the situation and what they're doing to keep their spirits up!
- Words of Encouragement for the Class of 2020: High school and college seniors are missing out on a lot this year. Acknowledge your feelings and celebrate your accomplishments with this counselor advice.
- How to Move for a Job During COVID–19: The coronavirus pandemic is certainly making life more difficult, but if you're moving for a new job, you can safely do so with these tips on moving during COVID-19.
- Planning for College During COVID-19: Counselor Q&A: How will the coronavirus affect the future of college admission? A Certified Educational Planner answers some common questions from students and parents.
- College in a Post–COVID–19 World: Counselor Q&A: Get more insight on higher education changes during the coronavirus pandemic with another Q&A session from one of the CollegeXpress community's college planning experts.
- College Flexibility and COVID-19: Expert Q&A: Parents are concerned with how the coronavirus is going to affect their students' futures. We've got more advice from an expert consultant to help ease your stress!
- Unexpected Pandemic Takeaways for Aspiring Nurses: The coronavirus pandemic may have sent nursing to the bottom of your dream career list, but before you rule it out, consider all these positives of the profession.
- Job Search Advice for the Coronavirus Crisis: Finding a good job during a pandemic may seem hopeless, but if you're proactive, you can find a great opportunity even if it's not what you expected.
- What Counselors Are Doing to Help Students at Home: The coronavirus may have shut high schools down, but counselors are still available to help when you need it. See how you can work with yours remotely now!
- Changing College Plans Amid COVID-19: Deferral, gap year, community college, or simply staying the course...which is right for you? Get advice from our experts.
- All About Kaplan Test Prep's Boost Year Program: If you're leaning toward taking a gap year, you may be weighing your options on how you should spend your time. Could a "Boost Year" be right for you? Learn more about the new program here.
- How to Pay for College When Your 529 Plan Takes a Hit: Before panicking about assets as the stock market fluctuates, parents should read this advice to assess other options for covering their student's college costs.
- How Is the Pandemic Affecting Med School Admission? COVID-19 has changed a lot about the future of higher education. Here's what you need to know about how the coronavirus is affecting medical school admission.
- College Financing in the Midst of COVID–19: The coronavirus pandemic has drastically affected the US economy, but that doesn't mean paying for college is impossible now. Here's what you should know.
- How the Coronavirus May Change the Transfer Process: Being a transfer student already adds a new level to the college admission process—and now you have to navigate that during a pandemic! Here's some advice to help you plan.
- How to Navigate and Excel at a Job Interview on Zoom: Job interviews are already stressful, but now you have to adapt to them online? Here's how you can prepare for a virtual interview.
- Student Entrepreneurs in the Time of COVID-19: Students are taking advantage of their free time during the coronavirus lockdowns to launch businesses that benefit communities. Here's how you can too!
- A Student's Guide to Moving Forward in a Pandemic: Even though the pandemic is still ongoing, you can still set yourself up for a bright future and successful career. Check out one college student's advice!
- The Future of the SAT and ACT During COVID-19: The future of standardized tests is going to look a lot different due to the ongoing pandemic. Here's what you should know about the SAT, ACT, test-optional admission policies, and the potential of online testing.
- The Importance of Mental Health in a COVID-19 World: It seems the global pandemic isn't ending anytime soon, so prioritizing your mental health is a must to continue on with our lives. Here's how you can do so.
- How COVID-19 Is Affecting International Students: The coronavirus is affecting international students even more so than higher education students in their own countries. Here's what they're facing this fall.
- 5 Ways to Make a Difference During the Pandemic: Giving back is more important than ever with the wide-range negative effects of the pandemic. Try these ideas to make a difference for others and improve your college applications.
- How to Beat Back-to-School Anxiety: Going back to school can be nerve-wracking for students, and it's only compounded this year by the pandemic. Here are some methods to help you beat anxiety!
- How the Coronavirus May Change Your College Planning: While the college search process may be a little different this year with the pandemic, with this advice, you can plan successfully and find the right school for you.
- The Impact of COVID-19 on the Class of 2021: We surveyed rising high school seniors and their families about topics such as choosing a college and learning remotely in 2020. See what they have to say here.
- Back to School: A COVID-19 Education in 2020: Going back to school is hectic in the best of times, but during a pandemic, it's downright stressful. Here's what the semester is looking like for college students, plus tips for how to adjust to different learning formats.
- 7 Ways Students Can Make Money During the Pandemic: The economy may have taken a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn't mean your personal finances have to. Here are seven ways to make money during COVID-19.
- Should You Go to Graduate School During the Pandemic?: Many people are seeking to go back to school as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. But is now the right time to apply to grad school? Read on to find out.
- How COVID-19 May Affect Your Graduate Education: Grad school admission and programs are looking very different this year with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Here's what prospective graduate students need to know.
- Video: CollegeXpress Talks to YelloPain About Voting: Check out our chat with YelloPain, a rapper and activist who's set his sights on getting young Americans to get informed, get registered, and show up to VOTE!
- A COVID-19 Halloween: Safe Plans for College Students: Being smart and safe this Halloween is of the utmost importance, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Here are some ideas for a safe Halloween celebration, whether you're at home or on campus.
- COVID-19 College Life: Climbing Uphill in 2020: We’re all continuing to struggle with the uphill battle that is the 2020 pandemic. Here’s some advice and reminders to keep you going as we close out the year.
- Video: Staying Healthy While at School: With all the germs going around schools, it can be hard to stay healthy. Here are some tips from student vlogger Jordan-Paige to help you avoid getting sick.
- How to Have a Mindful Winter Break in 2020: With an odd end to a weird semester, CollegeXpress student writer Laura has advice on being productive and finding time for what you love this winter break.
- How to Boost Your Extracurriculars During COVID-19: How can high schoolers participate in extracurricular activities and prepare for college in the middle of a pandemic? Read advice from a real student here!
- How Will COVID-19 Impact the College Admission Process?: The question of the year: How is COVID-19 going to change...? Fill in the blank. Luckily, our experts have answers to how it's changing college admission.
- Pandemic Problems: Resources to Share With Students: The pandemic hasn't been easy on school counselors or their students. Here's a comprehensive list of resources to help with the struggles both counselors and students are facing.
- Connect With School Counselors During COVID-19: Students should connect and engage with their counselors during this hard time—about anything! Here's why and how to reach out about important topics.
- Lessons From Applying to College During a Pandemic: The pandemic has altered college admission planning for many students across the country. Here's a look at what one student learned throughout the process in 2020.
Researching and applying to colleges
Just about everything has been cancelled these days, but your college plans don’t have to be! Think about the future and use these tools to keep your college search on track.
- CollegeXpress College Search Tool: Search for schools by keyword, major, location, interest, and much more; compare your favorites; and connect with hundreds of different colleges in one click!
- 5 Easy Things to Do in Your College Search Today: This pandemic has shifted the way we conduct our lives, including the college search. Here are five simple tasks you can do today to keep your research going.
- Connecting With Colleges During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Going on campus visits may not be a possibility right now, but there are still plenty of ways to connect with colleges online. Find out more here.
- Expert Advice for Your Current College Search: You may be losing motivation in your college search amid the coronavirus pandemic, but we've got expert counselor advice on why it's important to keep going!
- Making Powerful Connections at Your Colleges of Interest: There are still plenty of ways to connect with valuable people at your colleges of interest, from admission officers to coaching staff. Learn who you can reach out to here!
- College Search Resources Students Need to Know About: These websites are great resources for students during the college search (when you're done browsing CollegeXpress, of course).
- The Best College Search Websites, Books, and Apps: Searching for colleges requires a lot of research, and it can be difficult without the right tools. Here are the top resources that make searching for colleges easier.
- 5 Free College Search Apps You Need to Try: We do everything on our phones these days—why not search for colleges too? Check out these five free apps that can help you find your perfect college.
- How to Organize Your College Search: Sorting through all those colleges can be daunting. Follow these tips to organize your college search and keep your sanity.
- College Search Spreadsheet Template: A college search spreadsheet lets you keep track of all your online research and compare it easily. Make your own using this handy template!
- Possible Majors for Pandemic-Essential Jobs: Thinking about your future college major? Consider these career paths and degree options if you really want to make an impact on people and communities at large during times of crisis.
- Should You Write Your College Essay Now?: You have a lot of time on your hands now; should you be focusing on your college essay? Before you start, ask yourself these questions.
- 5 Ways Students Can Prepare for College Applications: Using this extra time you have at home to get ahead on your college applications is just smart. Try these five easy tips to get started.
- How Should I Prepare for a Virtual Admission Interview? Since the coronavirus pandemic, many colleges have switched from in-person interviews to virtual ones. Make sure yours goes smoothly with this expert advice!
- Why You Should Answer the New COVID Essay Prompt: The Common Application is offering space for students to explain how the pandemic has impacted them. Here's why and how you should write this type of college essay.
- How to Know If You're Ready for College: Being ready for college is more than just sending in your deposit and packing up. Here's how to make sure you're ready academically, emotionally, and beyond.
- Video: What Is Test-Blind College Admission?: A lot of colleges and universities have gone "test-blind" as a result of the pandemic. But what is a "test-blind" school, and what does it mean for college admission? Watch this video to learn more!
- What Colleges Care About in This Time of Crisis: Worried about gaps in your college applications due to COVID-19? This commitment letter backed by hundreds of deans should give students some peace of mind.
- How to Strengthen Your College Application During COVID-19: Just because the pandemic has changed your plans doesn't mean you can't impress colleges with your application. Here's how to improve your apps from home!
- The Essential Step-by-Step Guide to College Applications: The college application process can be stressful. But with this step-by-step guide, you can get organized and apply to colleges with ease. Check it out!
- 11 Steps to Finalizing and Submitting Your College Applications: Take the stress out of finishing up your college applications with these helpful tips on what to do and review before hitting submit!
- Video: College Essay Q&A With Expert Kim Lifton: Writing your college application essay can be one of the most difficult parts of the admission process. But college essay expert Kim Lifton is here to help!
- Great Graduate Schools With Fully Online Programs: Interested in earning your graduate degree at home? Check out this list of highly regarded grad schools with programs offered entirely online.
Searching and applying for scholarships
We think anytime is a good time to search for scholarships—and now you have even more time at home to do so. Learn how to search smarter and win more free money for college with these helpful tips.
- CollegeXpress Scholarship Search Tool: Find over $7 billion in awards to apply to by keyword or category. We also have our own easy scholarship opportunities, like our annual $10,000 scholarship drawing and a monthly $500 Refer-a-Friend contest!
- Scholarship Search Spreadsheet Template: Want an easy way to organize all the scholarships you're applying for? Look no further than our Scholarship Search Spreadsheet! Download the free template now.
- The Ultimate Guide to Scholarships: How Scholarships Work, Searching for Scholarships, and How to Apply and Win: This series will help answer all your scholarship search and application questions.
- Scholarship FAQ: Expert Advice to Start Your Search: How, when, and where should you start your scholarship search? Find out all the answers from a professional scholarship strategist!
- The Ultimate List of Easy Scholarships: No long essays. No recommendation letters. Just lots of scholarships that are easy to apply to and practically anyone can win. (Updated for 2020)
- Easy No-Essay Scholarships You Need to Know About: Even more easy scholarship opportunities that don’t require a lot of writing!
- Secrets to Writing an Amazing Scholarship Essay: A lot of awards do have some sort of writing requirement. Pass the time at home by writing, proofing, and perfecting your essays to win more scholarships!
- 3 Common Obstacles to a Successful Scholarship Search: Deserving students miss out on a lot of money each year because of three common obstacles in the scholarship search process. Here's how to overcome them!
Campus visit alternatives
Bummed that your campus visits and open houses have been canceled? You can still get a good feel for a college without physically visiting. Here’s how.
- 3 Alternatives for Canceled Campus Tours: Your college search doesn't have to be on hold because campus tours have been canceled by COVID-19. Here are three ways to still learn about your top schools!
- COVID-19 and Virtual Campus Tours: Is the COVID-19 outbreak causing you to cancel your campus visit? Virtual tours are the answer to coronavirus cancellations.
- What to Do When You Can’t Visit Campus: Just because you can’t make the trip doesn't mean you should rule out a college on your list. Here's what to do when you can't visit a campus in person.
- Virtual Reality: The Future of Campus Tours: While nothing can replace the old-fashioned, in-person college tour, virtual reality tours can at least help you narrow down which colleges are worth visiting in person when campuses open back up.
- How to Play Virtual Campus Visit Bingo: Check out our online version of Campus Visit Bingo while you're touring colleges on the web—you could even win a prize!
- What Do Prospective Students Want From Campus Tours?: Campus visits are a crucial part of the college search process, but here are a few things you may not see on a typical college tour that you should ask about.
Many schools and campuses have shut their doors and are finishing up the semester online. Here are a few different e-learning resources to help you navigate this new classroom format.
- 6 Tips to Transition to Online Learning: E-learning isn't for everyone, but sometimes it's necessary in times like these. These six tips can help you adjust to going to school online.
- Video: Adjusting to Online Learning: Student vlogger Isabella has four tips on how you can make the most of your online classes and continue getting a great education.
- How to Learn at Home During COVID-19: Whether you're in high school or college, these tips from a CollegeXpress student writer will help you succeed while learning from the confines of your computer screen.
- 4 Ways to Avoid Isolation as an Online Student: Feeling lonely as a new online student? Here's what you can do to stay connected and plan for when campuses open back up again after the coronavirus pandemic.
- 5 Myths and Realities of Virtual Schooling: Wondering what e-learning is like? A student who attended a virtual high school clears up some misconceptions.
- How to Manage Your Time as a Student: Managing your time was already difficult, but it just got even more challenging as we adjust to our new routines. Get more organized and productive with these tips!
- Can You Make Studying More Fun?: You still have schoolwork to do, so you might as well make it as fun as possible. Here’s how.
- Spend Your Summer Learning With MOOCs: Now might be the perfect time to try out a massive open online course (MOOC). See what you could learn from the comfort of your couch!
- 5 Tips for Sudden Homeschool Students and Parents: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, some parents are learning how to homeschool their kids for the first time. If you're one of them, here are some tips to help get you through.
- The Truth About SAT and ACT Prep Courses: How much of what you're told about test prep courses is true? Find out here, plus learn how COVID-19 is changing upcoming test dates and college admission policies.
- How to Write a Professional Email: We're all communicating online a lot more these days, and sometimes "lol" is not the right response. This comprehensive advice will help keep your messages to your teachers, professors, and employers nice and professional.
- How to Conquer Your Test Anxiety: If you're nervous about any upcoming tests (like the new online AP exams), here's how you can beat the stress and prepare to do your best.
- Students: Don't Feel Bad for Being Distracted at Home: Adjusting to online learning has been hard for students with at-home distractions. But here's why those diversions may be just what you need right now.
- Free Courses for Students to Take During the Pandemic: The coronavirus shouldn't stop you from finding ways to improve yourself and your college applications. Check out these free online courses to boost your skills!
- How to Create an Effective Distance Learning Routine: The key to distance learning in a COVID-19 world is having a routine. Here's some advice on creating a well-balanced remote learning routine this semester.
- How to Better Cope With Remote Learning: As the pandemic carries on, so does the struggle with learning at home. These expert tips will help if you’re feeling down about remote learning.
- Debunking 4 SAT, ACT, and Remote Learning Myths: COVID-19 has changed education, but it doesn't mean what you've heard about remote learning and standardized tests is true. You can disregard these four myths!
- 6 Tips for Dealing With Distractions in Online Classes: Staying focused during online classes is a lot different than focusing during in-person instruction. Here are six great tips to keep you on track.
- The Most Important Thing to Do in Remote Learning: There’s one simple thing you can do during remote learning to set yourself up for success: turn your camera on! Read on to see why it’s so important.
Keeping busy at home
Be sure to relax and enjoy some quality time with your family while you’re stuck at home. When you finally get sick of them, however, give these options a try.
- Video: 5 Things to Do While Social Distancing: Feeling bored, isolated, or stressed? Student vlogger Janna shares five of her favorite things to do at home.
- How to Beat Cabin Fever: Social distancing may be a scary (or boring) prospect for students, but these options can help you make the most of your time at home and avoid getting cabin fever.
- COVID-19: How to Stay Productive: We're all cooped up at home right now, but that doesn't mean we can't be productive. Get tips on staying busy and getting stuff done now.
- How to Stay Active During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Staying active might be one of the hardest parts of sheltering-in-place. Use these tips to get moving and feel better while you're stuck at home.
- 15 Ideas for a Fun Night Off (Without Having to Leave Your Dorm!): (Or house)…Since we’re all practicing social distancing (right?), here are some things you can do to relax and have fun in the comfort of your home.
- Quiz: Would You Survive a Zombie Attack on Campus?: Find out your fate with this silly quiz. (We also have tests to find out which fictional college you should go to, or which college mascot you are.)
- 10 Fiction Picks for College Bookworms: These are great choices for college students who want to relax with a good book or just read something without having to analyze it. Download an audio book app and start listening!
- 4 Easy Networking Strategies for Online Students: Networking as an online student takes a little extra effort than if you were on campus. Here are some simple ways to start connecting with peers and professors.
- Video: How to Make Breakfast Bars in the Microwave: Cooking is a fun way to pass the time and learn new skills at home while you're social distancing. Find even more College Cooking videos on our YouTube channel!
- 10 of the Best Quarantine Memes (So Far): COVID-19 is not funny, but the quarantine memes are really, really funny. Check out our team's favorites here if you need a laugh.
- National Student-Athlete Day: Quarantine Workout: We're all getting stir-crazy, and for athletes, it's likely worse. Here's a fun at-home workout challenge for National Student-Athlete Day based on your favorite memes, shows, and more.
- How to Manage Your Stress for Better Health as a Student: Learning stress management strategies can greatly benefit your mental and physical health. Check out your options for dealing with this stessful situation here.
- Stuck in a Rut During COVID-19: A Student's Perspective: The pandemic hasn't been an easy time for anyone. Here are some encouraging words from a student like you to help you get out of a rut and stay productive.
- 6 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day in Your Own Backyard: While we may not be able to do much outside right now, we can still enjoy nature and take care of the planet. Check out some ways to celebrate Earth Day at home!
- Entertainment Picks to Help Pass the Time: We have the cure for your social distancing boredom. Check out this huge list of movie, TV, book, music, and podcast recommendations from CX users!
- CX Team Poll: Who's the Cutest Quarantine Friend?: Take a cute animal break and look at all the pets keeping us company while we're stuck at home! You can vote for your favorite on our Instagram.
- The Best Ways to Spend Your Free Time This Summer: We asked members of the CollegeXpress community how they've been spending their free time throughout the pandemic. Check out their answers and get inspired!
- 8 Tips for Starting the New Year With a Positive Mindset: This year has been a long one, and with a new year on the horizon, we’re all due for a reset and refresh. Here’s how to start out 2021 with a positive mindset.
- 8 Healthy Stress Management Tips for Students: Stress and anxiety are at an all-time high for students. To help combat that, we have eight tips to help you manage your stress in a healthy way.
Free virtual stuff to do
There are so many free online resources for learning, fun, and relaxation, from museum and park tours to ways to exercise and stand together during this crazy time.
- Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tour: You may not be able to travel to this national landmark anytime soon, but you can explore it through their website and make plans to visit in person when things get back to normal.
- Farm Food 360 Virtual Tours: Learn everything about cheese and milk processing, apple orchards, and other farm operations—or just watch all the cute animal videos.
- Louvre Online Tours: Visit the famed Paris art museum virtually and see Egyptian antiquities, remains of the Louvre’s moat, and more.
- DoYogaWithMe: Clear your mind and relieve some stress with hundreds of streaming instructional yoga videos for all levels.
- Jimmy Fallon’s Cowbell Challenge: The Tonight Show host encouraged everyone to open their windows at 3:00 pm ET on Friday, March 20 and bang a cowbell (or a pot or pan) to make some noise in support of first responders and each other. Everyone could use a little more cowbell right now!
Have questions or concerns, or just need a friend right now? Feel free to email us. We're all in this together!