As colleges and universities nationwide make swift changes in response to COVID-19, we've begun a weekly Wednesday roundup on what trends we are seeing across institutions, how individual schools are responding and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.
- Some students are organizing and making plans to withhold tuition payments; others are demanding partial tuition refunds.
- Most institutions have so far resisted returning tuition amidst the move to remote instruction. Some schools have announced freezes on tuition, housing and fees for college students in the 2020-2021 academic year. At least one school is offering one year of deferred payments to families who need it.
- Institutions are starting to receive CARES Act funding and are wrestling with the best ways to identify students who need help the most without leaving anyone behind. The Chronicle of Higher Education identified two main strategies among top recipients of coronavirus stimulus money (April 16).
- The University of Illinois system has created a $36 million Illinois Cares fund drawing on federal stimulus funding to help financially affected students (April 16).
- As state officials deal with their own pandemic related revenue problems, public colleges and universities are bracing for deep state budget cuts in the coming weeks and months.
- Colleges are continuing to update their tenure clock policies. A collaboratively maintained list of changes is updated daily.
- Columbia College is transitioning a year earlier than planned “from single-gender to coeducational” undergraduate admissions for the fall (April 17).
- Institutions continue to put out announcements, including loss projections and planned actions to preserve financial resources.
- “Penny, ”a chat bot to help students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, was created by The College Board and Benefits Data Trust (April 20).
- While summer programs continue to be cancelled due to the pandemic, some institutions are adapting their summer curriculum to include the impact of COVID-19.
- Conversations continue about the uncertainties of campus reopenings for fall and what the future might look like on campuses once students are able to return.
- U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced an additional $6.2 billion is now available to higher education institutions to ensure learning continues (April 21).
- DACA students are left out of federal emergency aid (April 22).