In this week’s roundup:
Vaccination rates and COVID-19 variants are causing some colleges and universities to rethink their lack of a vaccine requirement, DACA was ruled unlawful by a federal judge and FAFSA filing rates have dropped from last year.
July 15 - 28
- Colleges that are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations are trying to understand their current vaccination rates as deadlines approach for students to document their vaccinations.
- In some cases, vaccination rates, combined with the Delta variant, are causing colleges and universities who hadn’t required the vaccine to change their policy — and fast.
- The CDC is recommending universal masking for “teachers, staff, students and visitors in schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
- Clearing the balances of over 2,500 students, South Carolina State University, an HBCU, erased $9.8 million in student debt.
- For the interim period before the current administration introduces new Title IX regulations (which will likely take a while), the Department of Education has released new guidance for how to interpret the regulations currently in place.
- On July 20, a U.S. federal judge in Texas ruled that DACA was unlawful and has suspended applications for new DACA recipients for the foreseeable future. Current enrollees can remain in the program, for the time being.
- Following that decision, colleges and universities are taking a closer look at how they can help their students who had been counting on the program.
- HBCUs are finally receiving long overdue attention from media, donors and more policy-makers. Yet, some less well-known HBCUs continue to struggle with making ends meet.
- FAFSA filing rates are down 4.8% from last year at this time, notably among low-income and minority students who would have likely completed it in years past.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. Departments of Education and State released a joint statement committing themselves to supporting international education. They pledge to “foster increased cooperation” between the federal government, the private sector and institutions.
- The U.S. Department of Education also released guidance on how to use the emergency relief funds granted to colleges and universities to improve ventilation systems.