In this week’s roundup:  

Despite record application numbers, enrollment is down 5.9% compared to last year, another unusual commencement season is getting under way and the financial burden felt by colleges and universities could be shifted to faculty members, who may see more faces in their classrooms. 

April 29 – May 5

  • On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona appointed Richard Cordray to lead the federal financial aid office, which oversees student loans. 
  • A majority of higher education institutions are still looking for students, even after the traditional May 1 “decision day” deadline. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, spring undergraduate enrollment is down 5.9% compared to this time last year, the steepest decline in undergrad enrollment since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • Where is there good news in enrollment? Medical and public health degrees. Applicants to graduate degree programs in public health for this fall are up 40% from the year prior. 
  • With commencement season upon us, some colleges and universities are still figuring it out
  • The American College Health Association set forth guidance that colleges and universities should encourage students to get vaccinated, and to help students figure out a path to receiving their second vaccine if they cannot receive it while on campus. 
  • Even as vaccine eligibility has expanded, tens of thousands of coronavirus cases have been reported at American colleges and universities in recent weeks. 
  • Citing financial problems worsened by the pandemic, colleges and universities are cutting costs by increasing the number of courses faculty teach and the number of students enrolled. 
  • An NPR segment addressed the difficulties international students continue to have when it comes to getting their visas to be able to attend a U.S. university. 
  • Black students at Rutgers Law School are petitioning for a policy on slurs after a student repeated a racial epithet while quoting case law during a professor’s virtual office hours. 
  • A new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics at the National Science Foundation highlights minorities and women in science, as well as scientists with disabilities. 

ICYMI: Check out our new podcast, On The Yard, hosted by our VP & Managing Director Ashley Northington. New episodes will be posted every Friday for the next several weeks, so make sure you tune in to hear the latest on HBCU culture and leadership trends from experts in the field. 


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