Students choosing Laurel Ridge over 4-year colleges amidst pandemic

Emma Gorg

The uncertainty the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed on higher education has led many college students to rethink their plans when it comes to going away to school. By choosing to come to Laurel Ridge, they can stay safe, save money and keep their education on track.

Emma Gorg and Matthew Cavanaugh are two students who have decided to enroll in Laurel Ridge this fall rather than attend large public state colleges.

“After learning what my school’s plans were for this fall semester, I just didn’t feel comfortable investing that much time and money in a school that didn’t really have a super-solid plan,” Gorg said. “In the meantime, I figured my best bet was to take online classes at a school I could trust and that has a great online program.”

Thanks to the dual enrollment program, when Gorg graduated from Fauquier High School in 2019, she was able to head off to college with 36 credits from Laurel Ridge.

Like colleges all across the country, her four-year university abruptly moved to online classes during the spring semester due to the pandemic, and it turned out to be a lackluster experience for Gorg, who is majoring in history and minoring in business.

“I didn’t feel like I learned much,” she said. “I kind of wanted to break away from that this semester. I really enjoyed my Laurel Ridge dual enrollment classes when I was in high school. They definitely saved me a lot of money.”

Among the classes Gorg, who is considering a career in international marketing, will be taking at Laurel Ridge this year are psychology and environmental science.

Cavanaugh was planning to attend George Mason University to study computer science this fall, but instead will be taking classes with Laurel Ridge. 

“All of my classes at GMU were switched from in-person to online,” he said. “Laurel Ridge also offers computer science classes and they have a transfer agreement with George Mason, so I can be confident that all my classes will transfer. This fall, I’m taking computer science, physical geology, calculus, introduction to speech communication and world regional geography.”

Cavanaugh intends to take fall, spring and summer courses at Laurel Ridge and then transfer as a junior to GMU. He described the Laurel Ridge enrollment experience as positive.

“My advisor was helpful, and the online registration platform was easy to navigate,” Cavanaugh said. “It makes sense financially to take the same classes at a community college for a fraction of the cost of a four-year.”

Learn more about enrolling at Laurel Ridge