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Coronavirus Update: High School Seniors Concerned Over Meeting Graduation Requirements, Scholarship Eligibility

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - With classes canceled, high school seniors are starting to think about their future, but some are worried about meeting all the requirements to graduate and what comes next.

Bronx Science senior Sadia Rahman, like all her fellow classmates, will not get a senior prom, or the traditional graduation ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The school year will inevitably end, and many students worry they won't be ready for what comes next.

"It's really scary and daunting and not having the ability to just pop in to my guidance counselor's office, or talk to a teacher, is really debilitating for me," Rahman told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez.

With schools closed, many would-be grads in our area say it's hard to get answers. Pace High School senior Tiffani Torres says some students don't know if they're meeting the requirements to graduate now that June Regents exams have been canceled.

"I know that there's a few kids that don't know that it's canceled," she said.


Others like Rahman question if their online work is going to count.

"Your final transcript has to maintain a good average or you're in jeopardy of really losing your spot. Or losing a lot of scholarship money," she said.

Francisco Araiza works for The Education Trust-New York, an education policy organization that advocates for students. He says school administrators should require teachers and counselors to directly communicate with senior students at least once a week.

"If we continue to sort of not be able to meet their needs they're gonna, I think the educational inequities are going to continue to grow," he said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Department of Education says schools are focused on keeping students connected to teachers and counselors. Rahman says not having immediate access to them can be especially debilitating for first-generation immigrants whose parents can't provide the guidance they need.

"Now it falls a lot on the shoulders of the students. To, like, Google how do you write out a negotiation letter for more financial aid?" Rahman said.

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"It feels like we're not really prepared. What we were gonna spend the next few months doing and preparing for is no longer really kind of happening," Torres said.

Students of all ages agree: More communication, more information, more often would bring more peace of mind about the future.

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