In this week's roundup:
Students and scholars advocate for race-conscious admissions policies, awareness of monkeypox is increasing, and an alternative to student loan forgiveness is proposed.
- Institutions are preparing for monkeypox ahead of the start of the academic year. In addition to providing information about the virus, Dr. Sarah Van Orman, chief health officer of University of Southern California Student Health, says institutions should work with LGBTQ+ organizations as they are the demographic most affected.
- An alternative to student loan forgiveness is being proposed by Republican lawmakers ahead of the pause on repayments soon coming to an end. The Responsible Education Assistance through Loan Reforms Act would narrow down the types of repayment plans the Department of Education could offer.
- The National Bureau of Economic Research found that institutions with COVID-19 vaccination mandates reduced the number of positive cases and overall deaths in their counties. Measuring over the course of 13 weeks in Fall 2021, vaccination requirements reduced the number of deaths by 5%.
- Asian American students and scholars voice their support of affirmative action. The main argument made by academics is that dissolution of race-conscious practices in admissions would harm students who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander.
- A group of college and university presidents visited the White House to discuss the fallout of the Dobbs decision earlier this summer. Presidents from institutions including Reed College, Oberlin College, Tennessee State University, and Howard University discussed the implications of the decision with Vice President Kamala Harris, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell.
- A new law in Maryland, the Inclusive Athletic Attire Act, will allow student athletes to modify their uniform for religious reasons. The NCAA currently requires a waiver for modifications to uniforms, a rule that may change in the future.
- A new law in Massachusetts will increase accessibility to higher education for students with autism and intellectual disabilities. Experts say these students would benefit from joining a campus community as non-degree-seeking students.
- Seattle Pacific University is suing the Washington Attorney General, saying the office’s investigation into their hiring policies violates their religious rights. The private, Christian institution was criticized for their discriminatory hiring practices toward the LGBTQ+ community.
- Undergraduate education may shift to more of a hybrid model of online and in-person learning by 2025, according to a new report. While online education became popular during the pandemic, experts say a hybrid model is more likely to be implemented than an entirely online experience.