College campus in autumn.

In this week's roundup:

Undergraduate enrollment has taken a big hit this year, free community college will not be part of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and Amherst College gets rid of legacy admissions. 

October 21 – 27

  • Undergraduate enrollment has declined 3.2%, continuing the decline from last year. Community college enrollment has also declined 5.6%, while graduate enrollment has increased 5.3%. 
  • Free community college will not make it into President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Advocates for tuition-free community college will continue to fight to aid the continuing decrease in enrollment. 
  • Amherst College is getting rid of their legacy admissions in an effort to open doorways wider. 
  • Private Christian institutions, such as Hillsdale College and Baylor University, have ranked among the lowest colleges and universities in the country in the 2021 College Free Speech Rankings, leading students to wonder if free speech can coexist with an institution’s conservative values. 
  • Florida State University was among the highest-ranked colleges and universities for free speech according to the 2021 College Free Speech Rankings. 70% of students said they were comfortable expressing their opinions which is part of FSU’s commitment to fostering a “respectful and civil environment to exchange opinions and beliefs,” according to Amy Hecht, vice president of student affairs. 
  • Over half of students at the University of Oregon felt institutional betrayal as a result of the university’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic last year. A survey revealed that the distress students felt over the course of the past year was related to the university’s failure to protect them from COVID-19.
  • California community colleges have partnered with the American Public University System to allow students who graduate from one of 116 community colleges to easily transfer to American Military University and American Public University. No credits are lost along the way, and the students will become juniors upon their arrival. 
  • With the pandemic ever-present, several philanthropies provide support to HBCUs to enable the transition to online learning. The ultimate goal is to help the institutions replicate the unique cultural attributes of an HBCU campus in the digital world. 
  • Recording lectures during the pandemic became a common practice for professors, but the practice might be here to stay. Recording lectures for students to watch on their own “brings equity to the course and levels the playing field,” according to Jennifer Albat, instructional designer from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. 
  • Several selective institutions are accepting men at a higher rate than women to balance gender demographics. Women may be more likely to be wait-listed at these institutions. 
  • The tech startup Agros Education seeks to change the way textbooks are created and shared, with an open-source platform for professors and students to create and distribute course material. Co-Founder Michael Feldstein compares this to self-publishing with Amazon, and professors can publish their content online as well as learn how students are using it. 


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