Dulles, Virginia – Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization which supports our nation’s military families and injured service members. As part of our outreach, we award college scholarships for the children of military heroes who gave life or limb for our country. This year, Freedom Alliance will disburse $2 million in college assistance for children of fallen or disabled troops.
The COVID pandemic has caused campuses to be cautious in their operations and to heavily regulate student behavior. There has also been a great deal of confusion, as many schools have brought students back only to send them home again at the start of the semester. To understand the challenges students face as they return to school, Freedom Alliance conducted an informal survey of our current scholarship recipients.
The survey was sent to 615 Freedom Alliance scholarship recipients and conducted in mid-July before students returned to school. The responses show that our students are eager to continue their education, they plan to return to school, with more choosing off-campus housing rather than on-campus housing. Students are determined to complete their studies on time, they are confident they can return safely to campus, but they are concerned about the efficacy and fairness of on-line learning that is demanded by administrations because of COVID disruptions.
Below are eight of the survey’s questions and how our students responded. This is how they answered:
Returning to School
Will your school return to on-campus/in-person classes in the fall?
- 93.7% answered Yes
- 6.3% answered No
If the school is returning to on-campus classes, will you live in on-campus or off-campus housing?
- 33.0% answered On-Campus
- 63.7% answered Off-Campus
Student Confidence Levels
Are you confident that the health and safety protocols your school has announced for on-campus housing will help to keep you safe?
- 75.2% answered Yes
- 24.8% answered No
How often do you receive updates from your school about the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis?
- 3.1% answered Daily
- 49.6% answered Weekly
- 42.5% answered Monthly
- 4.7% answered Periodically or Never
Student Satisfaction Levels
If classes will be strictly online for the fall semester, has the school reduced any of the costs regarding tuition, fees, and other costs of attendance?
- 7.0% answered Yes
- 48.8% answered No
- 44.0 % answered N/A, not applicable
Are you satisfied with the amount of the reduction?
- 17.0% answered Yes
- 27.6% answered No
- 55.2% answered N/A, not applicable
Have the pandemic and switch over to online learning affected your timeline to graduate on time?
- 13.4% answered Yes
- 84.1% answered No
- 2.3% answered Maybe
Are you considering taking a semester/year off because of COVID/online classes?
- 5.5% answered Yes
- 90.5% answered No
- 3.9% answered Maybe
“The results of this survey show that our students are ready and eager to return to their collegiate studies,” said Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon. “They are expressing confidence that their schools will provide a safe learning environment, and they are determined that COVID will not get in the way of their anticipated completion dates.
“Students have concerns,” Kilgannon continued, “about the worth of online classes. Some have difficulty understanding the material when presented online while others believe the professors are not as effective when teaching a virtual class.
“It is also true that students who are forced to take all or most of their classes online don’t feel the value is the same as in-person classes and would like to see greater discounts. The ability to meet with professors, form study groups, and participate in lab projects are all missing or made more difficult by the absence of in-person classes.
“Paying for a college education was already hard enough, but the COVID pandemic is making it more difficult and more complicated, especially for military families whose parent sacrificed life or limb for our country. Colleges and universities should be compensating students with bigger refunds of tuition,” Kilgannon concluded.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Freedom Alliance has assisted nearly 2,000 students and provided more than $16 million in scholarships. Individuals qualify if they are the dependent son or daughter of a U.S. Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Guardsman, or Marine who was killed in action or a training accident; or who is 100% total and permanently disabled as a direct result of a combat mission, or suffered a major limb amputation due to enemy action.
Students who may qualify for a Freedom Alliance scholarship should visit www.FAScholarship.com for more information.