Taking off a mask.

In this week’s roundup:  

The CDC’s latest masking guidance leads to questions on campus, the financial toll of the pandemic (for some) may not have been as bad as people predicted and some institutions are turning to their students for opinions on how to improve higher ed. 

May 13 – 19

  • According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks indoors and outdoors. Decisions from campuses across the country regarding how they’ll change (or not) their masking policies are largely still pending. 
  • The University of California agreed Friday not to consider SAT or ACT scores in admissions decisions through 2025 in order to settle a lawsuit over its use of entrance exams. The settlement is likely to have a profound effect on admissions testing, the use of which was already declining during the pandemic. 
  • Expansion of educational opportunities for people in prison has been a top priority for some lawmakers and interest groups – resulting in increased access to federal funding and an overall attitude shift. 
  • Public attitudes toward international students have been warming, according to a new survey by the American Council on Education. Still, 4 in 10 Americans believe international students are displacing domestic students in college classrooms. 
  • Colleges and universities are seizing on low interest rates and investors’ confidence in the economic recovery to refinance campus debts or borrow for new projects, signaling optimism that the impact of the pandemic will be short-lived. 
  • College during the pandemic: it wasn’t all bad
  • Students and community leaders speak out about the lack of reparations and acknowledgement by colleges and universities regarding the unpaid labor of enslaved people who often built and staffed their institutions. Some are also calling for payments for Black families displaced by university housing in the 1960s. So, how will colleges and universities respond?
  • The Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Education have come together to create a program which will discount broadband internet for students who qualify for a Pell Grant during the 2021-2022 academic year. 
  • In trying to find solutions to issues faced by higher education, six public institutions are enlisting their students to help find, pilot and advance the improvements. 
  • While many college professors claim students turn to them regarding mental health, nearly just as many reported that they have never had training on how to react to and help students. 

ICYMI: Check out episode 6 of On The Yard, hosted by our VP and Managing Director Ashley Northington, in which she and Tennessee State Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr. (D-Nashville) discuss the legacy of underfunding HBCUs. 

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