College students

In this week's roundup:

Native American students in California have their tuition waived, the Second Chance Pell program expands and Harvard University addresses its legacy of slavery. 

April 21-27 

  • Veterans with student loans could have them forgiven by the Department of Education. Despite the amount of red tape veterans have to navigate, the Biden Administration is loosening the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program’s rules. 
  • Native American students at the University of California will have their tuition waived. "The University of California is committed to recognizing and acknowledging historical wrongs endured by Native Americans," said President Michael V. Drake. The waived tuition will only be available to California residents and members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian and Alaska native tribes. 
  • Marymount California University will close permanently this August. The small, nonprofit college in Palos Verdes, California cites declining enrollment, costs from the pandemic and the failed attempt to merge with Florida’s Saint Leo University as their rationale. 
  • Harvard University is planning to atone for its past history with slavery by spending $100 million. Proposals include developing partnerships with HBCUs, honoring and supporting native communities and creating an “endowed legacy of slavery fund.” 
  • The Institute of Scientific Information found that there has been no significant change in the amount of Black, Hispanic or Native American researchers being published in scientific publications between 2010 and 2020. Asian and Pacific Islander authors saw an increase, but a majority of authors published are white. 
  • Iowa State University has left the Association of American Universities after being a member for more than 60 years. AAU’s metrics favor institutions with research funding and medical schools. 
  • Maine will offer free tuition to students who have been affected by the pandemic. The state of Maine will cover two years of tuition at community colleges for students who graduated high school in 2020 or 2021. Students who graduate in 2022 or 2023 will also qualify. 
  • An investigation of racially motivated discrimination is underway at Central Michigan University where the men’s track and field team has been cut and a men’s golf team will be reinstated. According to the NCAA, 26% of Division I track and field athletes are Black, compared to 2% of golf athletes nationally. 
  • The Department of Education will expand the number of colleges and universities participating in the Second Chance Pell program, which gives incarcerated people the opportunity to receive federal Pell Grants. This is part of the Biden Administration’s initiatives to support education for people in prison. 
  • Institutions in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas and Washington, D.C., are reinstating mask mandates on campuses. A rise in cases and hospitalizations from the subvariant of the Omicron variant are noted as the primary factors. 

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