Therapy Areas: Vaccines
College Students More Concerned About COVID-19 Than Ever, TimelyMD Survey Finds
14 January 2022 - - College students are growing even more concerned about their physical and mental health as the spring semester begins and the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to extend into a third year, a new survey from higher education-focused telehealth company TimelyMD finds.

More than half of college students said the highly contagious virus is causing them more stress and anxiety than ever before.

An overwhelming majority nearly nine out of 10 declared a mental health crisis on college campuses.

Additionally, the survey also found that nearly one-third of students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Thanksgiving, as the omicron variant drove yet another spike in cases.

Here are some key findings from the nationwide survey of nearly 1,700 college students conducted over the weekend:

88% of students say there's a mental health crisis at US colleges and universities.

COVID-19 continues to pile on extra stress. Nearly 70% of students said they are experiencing emotional distress or anxiety due to the pandemic. Slightly more than half say they are feeling the same or even more stressed and anxious than a year ago.

That stress is more pronounced among women and non-binary students. Female and non-binary students were more likely than male students to say the pandemic has caused them stress or anxiety.

Female and non-binary students also reported experiencing the same or more stress/anxiety than they did a year ago versus 66% of male students surveyed.

Two years in, 51% of college students said they have grown more concerned about COVID-19. Another 39% said their level of concern about the pandemic has lessened, while 10% said they have never worried about COVID-19.

The omicron variant appears to be spreading quickly among the college student population.

While more than four in 10 students said they had tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, nearly two-thirds of these positive tests have come in the six weeks since Thanksgiving.

More than three-quarters of students said they attend a school that requires a COVID-19 booster. Of these students, two-thirds said they were already boosted or had planned to get a booster shot when the requirement was announced, and another 22% said the campus mandate was the reason they got a booster.

Also at schools where boosters are required, 6% admitted to turning in a fake vaccine card and another 5% asked for an exemption.

Slightly more than a quarter said their schools are starting the semester online. A majority of these students agreed with the decision while a quarter opposed it.

Nearly one-fifth said students should get to choose between attending classes remotely or in-person.

Fewer than 20% believed their campuses were providing all of the resources they needed to support them during the pandemic.

Consistent with previous surveys, nearly half of students said the best way their campuses can support them would be to provide more virtual health and mental health services.

Nearly two-thirds said they plan to seek out emotional support from friends, family or professionals to manage their stress during the spring semester.