How COVID-19 Impacted College Students’ School Choices

SMU’s hybrid flex system where students could attend in-person classes and Zoom classes during the peak of the pandemic in fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters gave students at least a little bit of normalcy. Masks were still required and campus events were mostly canceled, but having class in person attracted high school graduates who had just spent months at home on Zoom and had their graduations canceled.

Two students, Aidan Darcy and Charlie Moore, were originally planning to attend West Coast schools. Darcy was going to attend UC Santa Barbara, and Moore was planning on attending Santa Clara University. The schools were only offering online learning, so they decided to go to SMU instead.

Attending SMU allowed them to have a somewhat normal freshman year and attend in-person classes. They both decided to rush during their freshman year and ended up in Beta Theta Pi fraternity. They say they related with one another because of their shared experience in deciding on colleges during the pandemic. Their decision to attend SMU became worthwhile because of the people they have through their fraternity and the opportunities SMU has given them.

Watch their story below.