In this week’s roundup:  

Universities sue the Trump administration over new visa rules, more enrollment decline data and approaches to sending students home safely.

Stay tuned for our weekly roundup on what trends we’re seeing across institutions, how individual colleges and universities are responding to them and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.

October 15-21

  • The University of Southern California, University of Rochester, University of Utah and Cornell University are among the universities and business groups who have filed a lawsuit over new Trump administration rules making it more difficult for skilled foreign workers to acquire visas. 

  • First-year undergraduate enrollment declined 16% for the fall semester, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. International undergraduate student enrollment dropped by more than 13%. 

  • Meanwhile, most international students who were enrolled when the pandemic began are still here -- and facing isolation, homesickness and, in some cases, prejudice. 

  • The many community college students who are sidelining their education plans as a result of the pandemic face long-term economic consequences. 

  • Some of higher education’s most influential associations signed an urgent appeal to congressional leaders seeking at least at least $120 billion in new federal support to prevent the “catastrophic consequences” of higher ed’s “existential crisis.” 

  • In a reprise of the spring semester, more institutions are relaxing grading policies in response to student reports of high levels of stress and anxiety, as well as personal and family challenges. 

  • A pioneering COVID-19 testing system by the Broad Institute is one reason many colleges in Massachusetts, New York, Maine and Vermont have kept coronavirus cases low. 

  • With winter approaching, colleges consider how to send students home safely. 

  • With a new spotlight on systemic racism within the Greek system, a scholar explains how reforming the sorority system would carry on an unsung legacy of rebellion. 

  • Students are overcoming COVID-19 restrictions and Zoom crush awkwardness to find love

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