I was recently accepted by a college or university. I was planning on graduating from high school soon and then enrolling in college. My high school has just announced that it will be closed for a reason such as the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Will I still be able to start college?

(Question limited to students who are already admitted.)

  • If a whole lot of high school students think they cannot enroll in college next year, it will be a huge disaster for higher education. – Anonymous Physicist Mar 13 '20 at 22:47
  • If you think it depends on an institution's regulations, please provide an example of an institution that has regulations for this situation. That would be very helpful. – Anonymous Physicist Mar 14 '20 at 0:48
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    In these unusual times, the usual rules are going to be bent to not unduly impact the innocent. Take a deep breath and relax. – Jon Custer Mar 14 '20 at 3:15
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    Every institution (or government) will make up their own rules for this. – user111388 Mar 14 '20 at 9:31
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    Discussions about whether this question is on topic should be brought up on meta; note, there is already some discussion about how -- and if -- our format can/should support questions that are currently considered off topic (e.g., because there is no single right answer). In any case, please do not "call out" individual users for their voting decisions; voting is a service to the community that we do not want to discourage (even if we might disagree with the votes). – cag51 Mar 14 '20 at 17:54

Ask them. You mentioned that they accepted you already. Only they can tell you whether the admission process is affected by the recent events and whether they're willing to accomodate last minute changes to your academic schedule.

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    Also ask your high school about arrangements for graduation. – Patricia Shanahan Mar 14 '20 at 0:15

You will probably be able to start college.

  • Even if your high school is closed, you will probably receive a high school diploma. Schools and governments will adapt their rules to the emergency.
  • In many cases, you do not need a high school diploma to enroll in a college or university. For example, at Simon's Rock College, most of the students do not have high school diplomas.
  • After you graduate college, most employers do not care if you have a high school diploma. If you never receive one because of a disaster, you will be fine.
  • In some cases, the college or university may be closed at the time you wanted to start your studies. You might have to wait for it to reopen.

What happens depends on the rules of your university. Those rules might not be written yet, but this is what they will probably say.

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    This is very country specific. For example in many European countries, high school ends with a national examination and it is a formal requirement to enter higher education. – fqq Mar 13 '20 at 23:27
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    It's not clear that an extremely unusual and small institution (Simon's Rock College) is a good example to argue that "In many cases, you do not need a high school diploma". – fqq Mar 13 '20 at 23:29
  • @fqq you can post an answer for Europe. – Anonymous Physicist Mar 13 '20 at 23:35
  • @fqq Here's a list of specialist programs. Other institutions in the US do not require a diploma even if they do not have a program. In the US most admissions occurs before diplomas are awarded. Exceptions are usually students who have worked for several years. cty.jhu.edu/resources/academic-opportunities/college-entrance – Anonymous Physicist Mar 13 '20 at 23:37
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    Perhaps you could add an example of how schools previously adapted to emergencies and were able to award diplomas. – Azor Ahai -him- Mar 14 '20 at 1:05

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