In this week's roundup:
the omicron variant has changed some colleges’ plans this semester, the pause on student loans has been extended again, and more college presidents are resigning.
December 30- January 5
- As classes resume, the omicron variant has been a concern for campuses across the country. Some institutions moved to remote learning or delayed the start of the semester, while others have chosen to stick with their original plans.
- With the surge in COVID-19 cases, mental health concerns are also at the forefront. Meghann Gerber, a clinical psychologist in Seattle and former head of a mental health clinic at the University of Washington, stresses the importance of checking on students to show support.
- The Biden administration has extended the pause on federal student loan payments until May 1, 2022, three months after the original date. This decision is considered a reinvigorating victory for activist groups that have been demanding full student loan forgiveness.
- Matthew Johnson resigned as president of Albion College after serving as president for 17 months. Johnson’s resignation comes after much criticism from students, faculty, alumni, and citizens of Albion, Mich. Some of the controversies included bullying of employees, verbal accosting of an Albion resident, and keeping goats illegally on campus.
- New legislative sessions begin this month in most states and higher ed issues are on the docket. Items under consideration include putting an end to tenure, guns on campus, restricting race-center curricula, and COVID-19 regulations.
- The ban on people in prison receiving Pell Grants was lifted in December 2020 and the conversation about ensuring quality programs and clear pathways to these grants has begun.
- Immigrant students as well as human trafficking victims living in New Jersey could soon receive guaranteed in-state tuition at public colleges and universities. The bill is awaiting Gov. Phil Murray’s signature.
- American Public Education Inc. has acquired Graduate School USA, which provides training to federal government employees. The acquisition took place at the start of 2022 after it was announced in August 2021.
- More college presidents stepped down last year than in 2020. Across the country, 107 presidents resigned from their position for various reasons ranging from health concerns to controversy during their presidency.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says that college students who are forced to attend classes remotely deserve tuition refunds. The statements made by Gov. DeSantis come as the state of Florida averages 165,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day.