In this week’s roundup:
Protests continue across the nation, bringing more attention to the Black Lives Matter movement; how a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling extending protections to LGBTQ people may affect colleges; and a guide for colleges on reopening safely is offered by Johns Hopkins University and partners.
Stay tuned for our weekly roundup on what trends we’re seeing across institutions, how individual colleges and universities are responding and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.
Week of June 12-19
- Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and Tuscany Strategy Consulting worked together to make a free guide for colleges on how to safely open campuses in the fall. With self-assessment calculators to help with the planning, this tool promises to create plans with risk determinants and mitigation steps.
- More schools are announcing their reopening plans, with some reopening as expected but moving to virtual learning after Thanksgiving break. Meanwhile, others have multiple plans, each involving varying degrees of remoteness. Once on campus, some public universities are not requiring masks.
- Professors have mixed feelings about coming back to campus, with expressions of doubt regarding undergraduate students’ ability to make good decisions and follow safety protocols and questions regarding enforcement of mask wearing.
- The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision extending protections against employment discrimination to LGBTQ people also affects how higher education institutions define sex and enforce gender equality on campus. Initial thoughts are that living situations and sports, which are often segregated by sex, may be challenged by students.
- As students, staff and faculty continue their protests to evoke actual change for anti-racism on college campuses, student athletes are also leveraging their positions to get their schools to meet their demands.
- Regarding financial aid, a survey found that financial aid officials are expecting to see an increase in requests for re-evaluation. One-fifth of respondents saw an increase of 50% or more in the number of requests for evaluation. State-level data on renewals of FAFSA also saw a steep decline in March and April which were not fully recuperated in May.
- College endowments are taking a hit in response to COVID-19. A recent study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) showed that, on average, college endowments were down by 13.4%.
- According to a survey by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, about 94% of responding schools had distributed CARES Act funding, regardless of the rules. More than half of the schools have given out at least 75% of their funds.