In this week's roundup, the student loan pause is extended into 2023, a closed college campus is repurposed and more law schools are going the test-optional route.
November 17- 23
- President Biden has announced another extension of the student loan repayment freeze until June 30, 2023. Following a series of lawsuits, the president said, “I’m completely confident my plan is legal, but it isn’t fair to ask tens of millions of borrowers eligible for relief to resume their student debt payments while the courts consider the lawsuit.”
- Law schools may become test-optional following the American Bar Association’s agreement to lift test requirements. While not a unanimous vote, the test-optional policy will take effect in Fall 2025.
- Judge Mark E. Walker blocked Governor Ron DeSantis’ Individual Freedom Act from being enforced at the State University System of Florida. Judge Walker criticized the law as being dystopian.
- A growing number of law schools are joining Yale and Harvard in withdrawing from U.S. News & World Report rankings. Despite the withdrawals, U.S. News says they will keep ranking them regardless of whether the schools submit data.
- More institutions are celebrating Native American Heritage month in place of Thanksgiving celebrations. Some refer to these celebrations as “Thankstaking.”
- The former campus of Marylhurst University will be transformed into an affordable housing complex as part of a redevelopment plan in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The complex will contain 100 units and is part of a plan to help provide safe, affordable housing for families in the community.
- The community of Moscow, Idaho is left on edge following the deaths of four University of Idaho students. Some students have chosen to leave campus early for Thanksgiving break while police search for the killer still at large.
- A shooting that killed a University of Arizona professor in October led to criticism over why the institution did not take action following many “warning signs” from a former teaching assistant. Experts in public information say this is an example of FERPA being used in a way it was not intended.
- The University of California, Berkeley has agreed to make their online content more accessible. Videos of conferences, lectures and ceremonies will now include closed captions and audio descriptions which disability advocates consider long overdue.
- A recent study finds that a campus culture that promotes friendship is beneficial to creating a compassionate college environment. The study emphasizes the importance of “boundary-crossing” friendships that cross religion and race.