College campus in fall

In this week's roundup:

the student debt relief plan is being challenged, back-to-college spending is up, and medical schools are battling misinformation. 

September 1-7

  • Republicans seek to block the Biden Administration’s student debt relief plan through legal action, but the lawsuits are struggling to find an argument with legal standing in court. 
  • Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, Miss., is building its own water system to deal with the water crisis. The two wells and 150,000-gallon water tank is estimated to cost over $4 million. 
  • The University of Portland is facing the effects of “summer melt” after 21% of students planning to attend in the fall changed their plans. This left the university with one of their smallest first-year class in a decade. 
  • Arizona State University attracted the largest indigenous student population in Arizona. ASU reported that their indigenous population had more than doubled last fall in part due to the community created for Native American students.
  • The National Retail Foundation reports that back-to-college shopping will cost almost $74 billion, up 4% from the last academic year. The most popular categories are electronics, dorm furniture, and clothing. 
  • The Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago is offering a class aimed at medical misinformation. “It’s our job as medical educators to make sure those trainees are best equipped with the skills they need to communicate with patients during these very challenging times,” says Dr. Andrea Anderson, a senior medical education consultant with the Association of American Medical Colleges. 
  • Institutions on the West Coast are dealing with excessive heat warnings and taking precautions such as providing air-conditioned spaces and information on heat exhaustion. Some institutions have chosen to cancel in-person classes due to the heat and others are struggling to provide air conditioning across campus. 
  • The latest Student Voice survey found that a large number of students believe staff members don’t always have to work in person and don’t mind remote work. The survey featured over 2,000 students’ opinions, with only 56% of students in favor of staff working on campus. 
  • The overturn of Roe v. Wade not only restricted access to abortions, but to OB-GYN training for medical students. Nearly half of health care providers could be affected as clinical abortion training facilities are disappearing or will disappear in the near future. 
  • Millions who took student debt without graduating are wondering if the debt forgiveness plan will give them a “clean slate.” About 15% of debt is owned by borrowers without a degree.


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