Arts students lurch toward freshman year of college in pandemic-induced upheaval

Another Los Angeles County High School for the Arts dance graduate, Natalie Aronno, also had to consider the financial impact of the pandemic when deciding where to study. Aronno chose UC Irvine, a school close to home and a place where her tuition will be fully covered by federal aid. As a first-generation college student, shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for private-school tuition each year “felt like a lot of gambling with finances that didn’t settle with me,” she said. “I personally don’t want to live in debt.”