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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to higher education, impacting students' academic performance. This study investigates the effects of the pandemic on microbiology undergraduate students at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) A retrospective cohort study design was employed, analyzing academic records of 3,059 microbiology undergraduate students from 2020 to 2022. Results indicate a significant decline in academic performance for both cohorts of general and nursing microbiology students during spring 2020 and 2022. A literature review explored the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and academic performance during the pandemic. Literature shows students of lower economic status experienced more educational disparities. This may have impacted many students at UTA. This study reveals the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted students in higher education. Findings emphasize the need for tailored interventions and equitable education strategies to support students navigating unforeseen disruptions.

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