People voting.

In this week’s roundup:  

Colleges and universities prepared their campus communities as the world awaits the 2020 U.S. presidential election decision, HBCUs are taking an active role in combating COVID-19 and SAT and ACT scores are on the outs for the next year in California.  

Stay tuned for our weekly roundup on what trends we’re seeing across institutions, how individual colleges and universities are responding to them and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.

October 28 – November 4

  • Caught off guard by a Trump victory in 2016, colleges this year braced for possible unrest on or near campuses on election night. Tuesday night was instead mostly quiet, as the nation awaits the results.
  • Closed college campuses, a decline in enrollment and obstacles for first-time voters could have depressed the student-age vote in Tuesday’s election. However, in some states, young voters had historically high numbers of early voting. 
  • In response to a pandemic that’s disproportionately killing Black Americans, HBCUs are taking an active role in COVID-19 testing and vaccine efforts.
  • Despite thinner resources, small colleges have had an advantage over their larger institutional peers in fighting the coronavirus. 
  • With the holidays approaching, institutions are preparing to send students home safely in part by ramping up “exit testing.” 
  • While enrollment in public and nonprofit colleges and universities has lagged during the pandemic, the National Student Clearinghouse shows a worrying rise in for-profit college enrollment. 
  • Bethune-Cookman, a historically Black university in Florida, became the first Division I school to cancel sports for the rest of the academic year because of the pandemic. 
  • Resulting from a state appeals court decision, the University of California system cannot use SAT or ACT scores for admissions consideration for at least the next academic year. With test scores out, colleges say applicants’ essays are more important than ever. 
  • Colleges and universities are beginning to assess how far they have come under pandemic conditions to determine new measures of success.
  • A report from NASPA: Students Affairs Administration in Higher Education, Course Hero and College Pulse found that students are not using expanded mental health services, despite reports of feeling anxious. 
  • A forthcoming study claims that teaching assistant evaluations from students succumb to the same gender-biased destiny as evaluations of professors: when a student believes a TA is a woman, that TA receives five times as many negative evaluations. 


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