Over half the students enrolled at colleges and universities nationwide will need alternative funding to continue their education as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey from OneClass, a Canadian company that offers course notes and study material.

To learn more about how the coronavirus has affected college students financing their higher education, OneClass bloggers polled 10,839 students attending 255 colleges nationwide through their college Facebook groups during the last week of May 2020.

The responses fell into three categories: students with tuition financing problems (50.9%); students who haven’t been negatively affected (41.8%); and students who said they made other plans (7.3%).

The top five schools where students have had to find new financing to afford college are Tulane University in New Orleans (89.6%); the University of New Hampshire (80.6%); Loyola University Chicago (79.5%); the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, known as the University at Buffalo (76.8%); and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (73.4%).

At Tulane, tuition is $54,820 per year, but OneClass bloggers said that the typical financial aid package totals $42,443. Nearly 90% of Tulane students told OneClass that they're looking for new financing.

Schools such as Tulane are responding to the impending financial aid crisis with a variety of innovative programs, OneClass bloggers report. For example, Tulane has launched an emergency aid program for students and is developing ways for work-study students to work remotely. The school is reportedly also identifying how to distribute CARES Act funding to students.

Even though OneClass bloggers report that Tulane is on track to hit its enrollment goals for the upcoming semester, many colleges and universities nationwide will see fewer students able to afford to return this fall, and high school students may have to delay their attendance plans without adequate financing in place to pay for their education.

The top five schools where college students are seeking alternative financing options include Millersville University in Pennsylvania (24.6%); Winona State University in Minnesota (16.7%); the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (16.5%); Belmont University in Nashville (15.3%); and Temple University in Philadelphia (14.9%).

The top five schools where the pandemic has not affected students’ ability to afford a higher education include George Washington University in Washington, D.C., (86.3%), a private university charging an undergraduate tuition of $55,230 a year, and four state schools charging tuition costs ranging from about $10,000 to $16,000 per year for in-state residents: Purdue University in Indiana (77.6%), the University of Illinois (69.6%), the University of Massachusetts Amherst (69.4%) and Eastern Michigan University (65.5%).

The study, posted without attribution as a blog on the OneClass website, offered cash-strapped students and their parents words of advice to mitigate the financial impact of the continuing coronavirus health hazard.

“These student responses indicate underlying uncertainty about tuition costs,” OneClass bloggers told website visitors. “There are countless options students could be considering. For example, students could be redoing their [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] with updated income information. The resulting federal student aid package details may reveal if college is still affordable during the coronavirus pandemic. Plus, students may also be looking into free community college programs in their state as a low-cost way to take care of prerequisites or earn an associate degree.”

Founded in 2010 by Jackey Li, Maggie Peng, Jack Tai and Kevin Wu, OneClass is headquartered in Toronto.