Winter on college campus

In this week's roundup, TikTok is being banned from some campuses, more high school students attend community college, and severe weather affects California institutions.

January 5-11

  • President Biden’s student loan repayment plan has been revamped amid legal challenges. The Education Department is proposing that borrowers can pay less and shorten the path to debt forgiveness. 
  • High school students are part of a growing population attending community colleges as part of dual enrollment programs. At Jefferson State Community College, high school students make up a third of the student population, providing relief for declining enrollment. 
  • The social media platform TikTok has been banned in 16 states from use in work contexts and on campus Wi-Fi. The ban is mostly due to security concerns, but media and communications experts are concerned about teaching students on modern social media platforms. 
  • The man accused of murdering four University of Idaho students was pursuing a Ph.D. in criminology at Washington State University. Despite the revelation, experts warn not to draw the link between studying criminology and becoming a criminal. 
  • Governor Ron DeSantis wants to transform New College of Florida into an institution that focuses on the “classics.” Students and alumni are concerned about the liberal arts institution shifting towards conservative ideals. 
  • Texas university leaders have agreed to a two-year tuition freeze for undergraduates if the institutions receive $1 billion in funds. Six university leaders sent a letter to state lawmakers in mid-December for more general funding. 
  • Stanford University has removed a list of “harmful language” from its website following backlash. The list was part of Stanford’s Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative, but was criticized for some of the language and explanations. 
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker promised free college tuition for working class families during his inauguration. Although no details were provided, Pritzker stated that it was the state’s obligation to make college tuition more affordable. 
  • Severe weather conditions in California have caused college closures and moves to online instruction. Institutions in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties are the most affected by the storm. 
  • Yale University graduate workers have formed a union, following a vote with 91% of voters in favor of the move. The formation of this union follows decades as one of higher education’s longest-running graduate student organizations. 


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