Funding, Admissions and Assessments

Everything you need to know about higher ed and the coronavirus for Tuesday and beyond in one easy-to-read package.

March 24, 2020
 
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More than 100 million Americans are being asked to stay home to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As more people get tested, the number of cases rises. It's now over 40,000 in the United States as of Monday night.

To take our minds off that, click here for a wholesome BuzzFeed list of nice and funny things people are doing to cope right now. I recommend stacking chips on a doggo, but only if you tweet out the photos for all of us to see.

All right, let’s get to the news.

As of Monday afternoon, Congress was still fighting over how to help those with student loans. Senate Republicans want to suspend payments and waive interest on federal loans for a few months. Senate Democrats want to cover monthly payments for federal student loans. But Democrats in the House want to also cover payments for private student loans.

Some progressive representatives also proposed canceling up to $30,000 in student debt, upping the ante on the initial Democratic proposal to cancel $10,000.

House Democrats are also pushing for more funding for higher education in general. Their stimulus proposal would set aside 30 percent of $30 billion handed to states for colleges and an additional $9.5 billion for a grant process for institutions.

A consortium advocating for tribal colleges is calling on Congress to set aside special funding for their institutions, which tend to have fewer resources to pivot to online learning.

Meanwhile, some colleges and a new national coalition of organizations are raising money for emergency aid funds to help students affected by the pandemic.

Here’s a quick roundup of our latest stories, in case you’ve fallen a bit behind (we don’t blame you):

Nursing students in California are worried about graduating now that hospitals are canceling the clinical education programs they need to get a degree, Elizabeth Redden reports.

Scott Jaschik took a look at what concerns institutions have for their admissions outlooks right now.

Kery Murakami has the story on how a dispute over student loans stalled the coronavirus stimulus bill.

News From Elsewhere

Mad about celebrities getting tests when others are being stonewalled? Vice reached out to several A-listers to find out how they got the tests. (Spoiler: many aren't responding.)

Education Dive has a story on how the pandemic could push more colleges to test-optional admissions.

Percolating Thoughts

This is a time when everyone has an opinion. As journalists, we try not to have opinions, but we've gathered some interesting ones from others.

A distinguished professor and a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York wrote about how faculty members can rethink how to assess students during this time.

How do you keep up quality academic advising during a time of social distancing? One adviser at Middle Tennessee State University has some ideas.

One of Open Campus's newsletters explores the tough decisions international students are making right now.


Have any percolating thoughts or notice any from others? Feel free to send them our way or comment below.

We’ll continue bringing you the news you need in this crazy time. Keep sending us your questions and story ideas. We’ll get through this together.

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