Woman wearing a mask on a bus.

In this week’s roundup:  

Campus officials and students consider the implications of heading home for the holidays, college leaders form an alliance to address racial diversity, equity and inclusion and the men’s basketball March Madness tournament will likely take place in one location to curb the spread of COVID-19.  

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.

November 5 – November 11

  • Students and educators are optimistic about what a Biden-Harris presidency means for international education.  
  • A group of liberal arts college presidents of color formed an alliance to address issues of racial diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • The Common Application reports an 8% decline in applications from November 2, 2019 to November 2 of this year. The number of students who are first generation and those eligible for fee waivers is down by 16%. 
  • Harvard was found not guilty of discrimination based on race by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. This means the case is likely to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • A survey of more than 700 colleges found that enrollments of new international students decreased by 43% this fall. However, deferment rates offer hope for the future. 
  • Graduate school enrollment has seen an uptick since the pandemic started, especially for institutions that already had online options. 
  • With the number of COVID-19 cases climbing, some colleges and universities are switching to all-online mode earlier than originally planned. For students who depart for the holidays, “experts recommend self-isolation, coronavirus tests and flu shots.”
  • Students and their families consider alternative options to in-person holidays this year for fear of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable family members. 
  • Undergraduate students and their families are asking their colleges and universities to bring more students back to campus in the spring. Some students are considering skipping the spring semester if they can’t return for in-person learning. 
  • A study conducted by Duke University of their COVID-19 testing and surveillance strategy confirmed an earlier study’s findings that frequent mass testing of asymptomatic students is the best way to curb the spread of the virus on campus. 
  • The NCAA announced that they are formulating plans to hold the men’s 2021 March Madness tournament in Indianapolis rather than having teams travel to avoid COVID-19 spread. 
  • Meanwhile, esports continue to rise in popularity and participation, especially since online gaming isn’t as affected by COVID-19 as more traditional sports. 


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