Do Colleges Cancel Classes For Snow

Do Colleges Cancel Classes For Snow

Snowfall is a natural phenomenon that can have a significant impact on human life. It can cause transportation disruptions, power outages, and damage to property and infrastructure. However, snowfall can also be a beautiful and peaceful sight, and it can provide opportunities for winter recreation, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. In this article we re looking at the impact of snow fall on colleges.

Do Colleges Cancel Classes For Snow

Yes, colleges do cancel classes for snow, but it depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the storm, the amount of snow expected, the local infrastructure’s ability to handle the snow, and the number of students who commute to campus. In general, colleges are more likely to cancel classes for snow in areas that are not accustomed to heavy snowfall.

Colleges typically make decisions about whether or not to cancel classes based on the latest weather forecasts and information from local authorities. They will typically communicate any cancellations through their official websites and social media channels. In this article we would look at some factors that could lead or trigger the closing of classes during snow.

General Factors

Here are some general factors for when colleges might cancel classes for snow:

Blizzard conditions:

If a blizzard is expected, with high winds, heavy snow, and whiteout conditions, colleges will almost certainly cancel classes.

Significant snowfall

If there is a significant amount of snow expected (e.g., 12 inches or more), colleges may cancel classes, especially if the snow is expected to fall overnight and create hazardous driving conditions.

Local infrastructure

If the local infrastructure, such as roads and public transportation, is not able to handle the snow, colleges may cancel classes to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Commuter population

If a large percentage of students commute to campus, colleges may be more likely to cancel classes, as many commuter students may not be able to make it to campus safely.

The severity of the weather

Colleges will typically cancel classes if the weather is so bad that it would be unsafe for students and staff to travel to campus. This could be due to heavy snowfall, icy roads, or extreme wind chills.

The type of campus

Colleges with a large number of commuter students are more likely to cancel classes for snow, as it can be more difficult for commuters to get to campus in bad weather. Residential colleges, where most students live on campus, may be less likely to cancel classes, as students are not as dependent on transportation to get to their classes.

The location of the campus

Colleges in areas that are more accustomed to snow are less likely to cancel classes than colleges in areas that rarely get snow. This is because colleges in snow-prone areas are typically better equipped to deal with snow and ice, and their students are more likely to have access to winter weather gear.

Decision-Making Process

Ultimately, the decision of whether to cancel classes for snow is a difficult one that colleges take very seriously. Colleges want to ensure that students and staff have a safe and productive learning environment, and they will only cancel classes if they believe it is absolutely necessary. Here are some additional factors that colleges may consider when making the decision to cancel classes for snow.

The availability of public transportation

If public transportation is not running or is significantly delayed, this could make it difficult for students to get to campus.

The availability of campus services

If essential campus services, such as dining halls or health services, are closed, this could make it difficult for students to stay on campus.

The impact on the academic calendar

Colleges will try to avoid canceling classes if it will disrupt the academic calendar or make it difficult for students to complete their coursework on time.

The Effect of Snow on Colleges

Snow can have a significant impact on colleges, affecting everything from class schedules to campus operations. Here are some of the ways that snow can affect colleges:

Class Cancellations

One of the most obvious effects of snow on colleges is class cancellations. When snowfall is heavy enough to make it unsafe for students and staff to travel to campus, colleges will often cancel classes. This can disrupt students’ schedules and make it difficult to keep up with coursework.

Campus Operations

Snow can also disrupt campus operations. Snow removal can be a time-consuming and expensive task, and colleges may need to divert resources away from other areas to keep their campuses safe and accessible. Snow can also cause power outages and other infrastructure problems, which can further disrupt campus life.

Student Activities

Snow can also impact student activities. Sporting events, concerts, and other social events may be canceled or postponed due to snow. This can be disappointing for students who were looking forward to these events.


In some cases, snow can even affect a college’s enrollment. Students from warmer climates may be less likely to apply to colleges in areas that experience heavy snowfall. Additionally, students who are already enrolled at a college in a snowy climate may be more likely to transfer to a college in a warmer climate.

Economic Impact

Snow can also have a negative economic impact on colleges. When classes are canceled, colleges lose revenue from tuition and fees. Snow can also damage campus property, which can be expensive to repair. Additionally, the cost of snow removal can be a significant burden on a college’s budget.

The Effect of Cancelling Classes During Snowfall On Students

The effect of canceling classes during snow on students is mixed. There are both positive and negative effects that students should consider when making decisions about whether or not to attend class in bad weather.

Positive effects:

Reduced risk of accidents and injuries: When classes are canceled, students do not have to travel to campus in hazardous weather conditions, which can reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

Increased time for studying and completing assignments: With more time at home, students can use the time to study and complete assignments.

Opportunity to catch up on sleep and rest: Students who are sleep-deprived can use the extra time to catch up on sleep and rest.

Chance to engage in snow-related activities and enjoy the winter weather: Students can enjoy snow-related activities such as sledding, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Negative effects:

Disruption of class schedules and academic progress: Canceling classes can disrupt students’ class schedules and make it difficult to keep up with academic progress.

Difficulty in accessing library resources and other academic support services: When libraries and other academic support services are closed, students may have difficulty accessing the resources they need to succeed in their classes.

Potential for isolation and loneliness: Canceling classes and social events can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness for students.

Increased stress and anxiety: The uncertainty of whether or not classes will be canceled can cause stress and anxiety for students.

Additional Tips for students during snowstorms

Here are some additional tips for college students during snowstorms:

Stay informed about the latest weather forecasts.

Check your college’s website and social media for updates on any class cancellations or other safety advisories.

Be prepared for the possibility of canceled classes.

Have a plan for how you will spend your time if classes are canceled, such as studying in the library or working on assignments.

Drive safely if you must travel.

Use caution if you must drive in the snow, and be aware of the potential for black ice.

Let your professors know if you are unable to attend class due to the weather.

Most professors will be understanding and will offer alternative arrangements for missed classes.


Overall, the effect of snow on colleges is mixed. Snow can disrupt class schedules, campus operations, and student activities. However, snow can also make college campuses more beautiful and provide opportunities for students to participate in winter sports and other outdoor activities. Colleges must carefully weigh the pros and cons of snow when making decisions about class cancellations and other snow-related policies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Q: How do colleges make the decision to cancel classes for snow?

  Colleges typically make the decision to cancel classes for snow early in the morning so that students and staff can make plans accordingly. The decision is usually made by a committee of college officials, including the president, the provost, and the dean of students. The committee will consider the latest weather forecasts, road conditions, and the availability of public transportation when making their decision.

Q: How are students and staff notified about class cancellations?

 Students and staff are typically notified about class cancellations through the college’s website, social media channels, and local news outlets. Colleges may also send email and text alerts to students and staff.

Q: What should students do if their classes are canceled for snow?

 If your classes are canceled for snow, you should stay safe and avoid traveling if possible. You can use the time to study, complete assignments, or catch up on sleep. You can also check the college’s website or social media channels for updates on when classes will resume.

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