In this week's roundup:
Social gatherings are being cancelled due to COVID, states are requesting more funding for the next school year, and the Department of Education will reveal its Title IX plan next year.
- A lack of transportation is a major obstacle for students attending classes. A study from the College Board reveals transportation representing 20% of the cost of college for commuting students. This especially poses a challenge for low-income students who can not afford public transportation.
- Jim Malatras, chancellor of the State University of New York system, will resign, effective January 14, 2022. Malatras’s resignation comes after making disparaging comments about Lindsey Boylan, a former member of Andrew Cuomo’s administration, as well as a student vote of no confidence.
- Colleges and universities across the country continue to handle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and variants in different ways. Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania have cancelled formal and informal social gatherings for the rest of the semester, while Middlebury College moved all classes and exams online. In addition, more colleges are requiring a booster shot for students, faculty and other employees.
- In a letter to President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, along with Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Ayanna Presley, called for an extension of the student loan payment pause. Using research from the Roosevelt Institute, the letter said restarting student loan payments would worsen economic challenges.
- The Alabama Commission on Higher Education, along with higher education commissions in Kentucky and Louisiana, requested an increase in funding for the 2022-23 school year. The 17.5% increase Alabama is asking for addresses the need for higher salaries and upgrading infrastructure.
- Eight colleges in Ohio have come together to help students access “stranded credits.” Credits become “stranded” when colleges do not release their transcripts because of students’ unpaid bills. The eight colleges plan to settle the debt in order to have students re-enroll in their institutions.
- The Department of Education is planning to reveal its Title IX regulation in April 2022, a month earlier than expected. Reactions remain to be seen from Title IX advocates and sexual assault survivors who had called for the Biden admininstration to have the proposal ready by October 2021.
- Currently, 70 of 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools allow applicants to submit GRE scores instead of LSAT test results. Many see this flexibility as a way to break down barriers for underrepresented groups to get into law programs. Even with 35% of law schools accepting the GRE, only 1% of the ABA 2020 law school class was admitted with GRE scores.
- A report from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities shows that students want opportunities to obtain credentials and skills that they can apply to short-term jobs while pursuing a 4-year degree.
- One month after a 34-day protest at Howard University over housing conditions and student representation on the Board of Trustees, alumni filed a lawsuit seeking representation on the Board of Trustees.
This is the final Weekly Higher Ed Roundup of 2021! We look forward to delivering your next dose of higher ed news when we return in early January 2022.