College campus in fall

In this week's roundup:

student loan forgiveness applications get underway, efforts are made to increase college student voter turnout, and a majority of Americans oppose restrictions for college professors. 

October 13-19

  • More traditional-age college students are enrolling in online institutions. While institutions like Southern New Hampshire and Western Governors were targeted at working adults, younger students are finding the cost and time-to-degree aspects appealing. 
  • Colleges are hiring additional crisis response teams for mental health emergencies. Crisis response teams are seen as an alternative to campus or local police responding to mental health crises. 
  • The website for student loan forgiveness applications is open. This follows an initial beta release of the website, and over 8 million people have already applied. 
  • A regent from the University of Minnesota system asked if one of their campuses is “too diverse.” Steven Sviggum posed the question as a reason for declining enrollment. 
  • The Campus Vote Project is exploring new ways to increase voter turnout for college students. The 18 to 24 age group had the lowest turnout in 2020, citing inconvenience and lack of information as the main reasons. 
  • A new survey from YouGov finds that a majority of Americans oppose legislation that would restrict what college professors are able to discuss in class. This data comes at a time when academic freedom has become a major issue among educators and legislators. 
  • Harvard University is the latest institution to require a COVID-19 booster shot for all students by January, making them the first one in the Boston area to do so. The vaccine will be offered by the university and students may seek medical or religious exemption. 
  • The latest Survey of Earned Doctorates found that the number of doctorates awarded in 2021 declined by 5.4%, marking the steepest decline ever. The number of doctorates awarded in 2021 was just over 52,000 compared to 55,000 in 2020. 
  • As more institutions go test-optional, admissions professionals may have more difficulty deciding which applicants to admit without SAT or ACT scores.
  • Almost half of regional admissions counselors are seeking new positions. A recent survey found that counselors believe there is no clear path to promotion at their current institution. 


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