As colleges and universities nationwide make swift changes in response to COVID-19, we've begun a weekly Wednesday roundup on what trends we are seeing across institutions, how individual schools are responding and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.

Since COVID-19 has forced most students to pursue education remotely for the rest of the spring semester, many colleges and universities have taken steps to alter their grading policies. Some are allowing students to decide whether they want to receive a letter grade or pass/fail designation, with many of those allowing students to do so after the last day of classes. Others have moved to universal or near-universal pass/fail or credit/no-credit policies,  with some allowing faculty room to provide commendations for outstanding work.

The Senate approved the largest federal stimulus in American history late Wednesday night (3/25). The House of Representatives will consider the $2.2 trillion bill on Friday (3/27). 

On March 11, President Trump announced travel restrictions for foreign nationals traveling from European countries to the United States beginning at midnight on Friday, March 13. The restrictions suspend entry of foreign nationals who have been traveling through any of the Schengen countries for 14 days prior to their scheduled arrival in the United States.

There are as many ways to pitch a story as there are reporters to pitch it to, but here are some general tips on what a good pitch includes.

Colleges and universities are bracing for significant disruptions to their day-to-day operations because of COVID-19 or Coronavirus. (Read more: Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal)

A new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that elite colleges should introduce a "bump" of 100 points to lower-income applications on their SAT/ACT scores if they wish to reduce the gap in economic diversity on campus. In this paper, Raj Chetty and other researchers from Brown, UC-Berkeley and the Federal Reserve Board suggest that by making this change it could substancially reduce segretation adn increase intergenerational mobility. 

Full Report: NBER 

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