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SUN 28 7;10
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TOP STORIES  Black studies only at UChicago.... Budget belt tightening.... Sen. Feinstein’s husband.... Undergrad enrollment plummets.... Princeton admits to racism.... Affirmative action loses in California....  What the next president means for higher ed... and more.

Black Studies Only
A new UChicago rule to admit only English-major students who commit to black-studies focus called “idiotic.” MORE

Caught Off Guard by Covid Colleges forced to embrace online education “faster than ever imagined.” MORE

Americans Know Their Political Rights Not so much their history. Only 18 percent of four-year colleges require history or government class to graduate. MORE

Varsity Sports Programs Slashed First came Covid, then budget cuts. More than 250 varsity teams eliminated. MORE

Budget Belt Tightening
As Covid spares no one, its economic impact on colleges is pervasive; majors eliminated, faculty cut, deficit spending the new norm. MORE

Sen. Feinstein’s Husband Richard Blum, a UC regent caught in an audit that smells a lot like the Varsity Blues admissions scandal. MORE

A Tale of Two College Presidents Caught by Covid
One is embarrassed; the other resigns. MORE 

Racial Reconciliation
Colleges across the country move to make up for bad histories. MORE   

Back to School Fallout
A new study says that students’ return to campus added 3,200 new Covid cases per day and recommended that they stay on campus until the end of the semester. MORE  

The Ol’ College Try Despite the mixed record, the efforts to keep students safe this fall were many. MORE

How Some Colleges Won the Covid Battle Says The New York Times, “a determined minority are beating the pandemic.” This is what they did. MORE 

Undergrad Enrollment Plummets It’s down in every region of the country and at every type of institution except four-year, for-profit college; first-time students account for the biggest drop, with freshman enrollment down more than 16 percent. MORE 

College App Drops Question About Bad Behavior Asking about disciplinary actions unfairly impacts African American and low-income applicants. MORE   

Faculty Group Launches Covid Governance Investigation
Claiming “unilateral decisions” by administrators about how courses are taught, department closures, and layoffs, the AAUP goes after seven colleges. MORE 

Job Losses Reach Historic Levels Bureau of Labor reports over 300,000 higher-ed employees—seven percent of total—are laid off between February and August. MORE 
Justice Department Sues Yale
Alleging decades of civil rights violations, Trump administration says the school favored Black and Latinx applicants over white and Asian American ones. MORE   

Princeton Admits to Racism The Trump administration pounced, accusing the school of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Presidents from over 80 colleges called the fed action “outrageous.” MORE   

Affirmative Action Loses in California Voters defeated Proposition 16, which would have restored the right to use race in admissions decisions.  MORE

What Amy Coney Barrett Means for Higher Ed A Catholic who taught at Notre Dame, the Trump Supreme Court appointee backs Betsy DeVos's crackdown on Title IX cases. MORE

Covid for Cash With cases surging, Brigham Young students were warned that they faced suspension if they intentionally contracted Covid in order to sell their anti-rich plasma.  MORE

ExTernal ORDERS |
College of the Future: Streamlined and Online
Using Internet offerings and new credentialing programs  to attract adult learners. MORE   

Laid-Off Workers Flock to MBA Programs Top-tier business schools seeing double-digit application increases. MORE

Ivies Dominate College Rankings No surprise that Harvard is on top of the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, but in the “return on investment" category, public colleges are reporting record freshman enrollment. MORE

Fundraising Surges at Community Colleges The nation’s local colleges saw alumni giving increase by 62 percent as the pandemic marched on. MORE

Can the College Debt Crisis Get Any Worse? A trend before Covid, student debt in some states grew by more than 100 percent. MORE

What the Next President Means for Higher Ed It may not be officially over, but there's no doubt Biden will be a different education president than Trump.  MORE



1     University of Chicago’s English Department Will Admit Only Grad Students Interested in Black Studies   The University of Chicago’s English Department has come under fire for its decision to accept only graduate school applicants who are willing to work in Black studies for the 2020–21 admissions cycle—the first time a major university has made “restrictions on form of study in the name of diversity.” The announcement sparked a backlash, with critics calling it everything from “idiotic” to a “political litmus test.” However, a university spokesman said that due to Covid-19 restrictions, the department could accept only five new PhD students and saw a need to focus on Black studies. Critics are also slamming President Trump for his executive order banning federal diversity training programs, which he says promote racial/sexual “stereotyping” and “scapegoating.” While it’s unclear whether colleges would face consequences, colleges that don't comply would. It has reignited the debate about diversity training and whether it does more harm than good. Students, on the other hand, are pushing colleges to make race and ethnicity classes a graduation requirement.   to the top

2     Caught Off Guard by Covid, Colleges Learn to Embrace Online Instruction   As Covid-19 showed no signs of abating, all 23 California State University campuses decided to continue with predominantly virtual instruction for the spring 2021 term. The brand-new CSU chancellor, Timothy P. White, said he made the announcement early to give students and staff time to prepare. The University of California’s top health executive, meanwhile, told UC officials that the pandemic will probably cause at least another year of disruption. Many colleges failed to invest in building online programs, but now they “are in a position where they need to move online faster than they ever imagined,” said one Stanford University professor. Colleges are filling in the gap by using online learning platforms such as Coursera and edX. And to win over skeptics, the platforms are adding new features like live online proctoring services to guard against cheating.  to the top

3     Americans Know a Lot About Their Political Rights but Little About Their History   The turbulence in our political system could be having one positive effect. The 2020 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey found Americans’ knowledge about government and their civic rights increased markedly in the past year. Seventy-three percent of Americans correctly named freedom of speech as one of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment—up from 48 percent in 2017. And 51 percent named all three branches of government—up from 39 percent a year ago. Still, 23 percent cannot name any branches. According to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, only 18 percent of four-year colleges require an American history or government course for graduation. And at 70 percent of the nation’s top universities, students can major in history without taking a single U.S. history class.  to the top


4     Pandemic-Affected and Cash-Strapped Colleges Slash Varsity Sports Teams   First came Covid-19, then the cash-flow collapse. Both have taken their toll on college sports. Since April more than 250 teams in some two-dozen sports have been eliminated across collegiate sports, including all three NCAA divisions. Many people, including athletes, alumni, politicians, and the entrepreneurs at the center of the $30 billion–plus youth-sports industry, are making dire predictions, saying the impact will be felt everywhere from high schools and colleges to the Olympics. Others, however, say this could turn out to be a good thing, as varsity teams won’t actually perish. Instead, they will transition to club teams that will allow athletes to play more on their own terms. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, nearly a quarter of all the medalists who had competed in the NCAA represented countries other than the United States. And the school that had the most athletes competing for Team USA—18—at the 2018 Winter Games was Westminster College in Utah, which didn’t even have an NCAA program.  to the top 



5     Budget Belt Tightening at Universities Large and Small   Budget shortfalls stemming from the pandemic are forcing universities throughout the country to make deep and possibly lasting cuts. And nothing is off limits, from eliminating majors to delaying graduate admissions to furloughing or laying off faculty. Even Harvard University is feeling the pain. Despite an endowment valued at $41.9 billion, Harvard closed the fiscal year with a $10 million deficit. Until recently, most layoffs in higher education were viewed as temporary. However, there are growing signs that the cuts could be permanent this time around. Virginia governor Ralph Northam has unveiled a new plan to refinance bonds, a move he says will save the state’s public colleges and universities more than $300 million over two years.  to the top

6   Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Husband Caught in UC Admissions Scandal  Investment banker Richard Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has been identified as involved in an admissions scandal where the University of California admitted dozens of unqualified students as favors to well-connected people. Though Blum, a regent in the California system, was not part of the “Varsity Blues” scandal, a federal investigation that rocked the college world last year, he was caught by a state audit doing some of the same things that made Varsity Blues front page news. Between 2013 and 2018, four UC campuses—Berkeley, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Diego—admitted 64 wealthy, mostly white students who were rated lower by admissions readers than rejected applicants, the state audit found. Twenty-two of the students were falsely designated as student athletes even though they had minimal athletic talent. According to the state auditor, Blum, who holds two degrees from UC Berkeley and has been a UC regent since 2002, wrote an “inappropriate letter of support” for an applicant who was later admitted to the Berkeley campus from the wait list, despite having scores that indicated only a 26 percent chance of getting in. The San Jose Mercury News reported that Blum couldn’t recall the letter and was unapologetic, saying, “I think it’s a bunch of nonsense.”  to the top

7   A Tale of Two College Presidents: Notre Dame President is Embarrassed, Oneonta Leader Resigns  The president of Notre Dame University faced national headlines and a crisis of confidence after attending a White House “super-spreader” reception for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a Fighting Irish professor. (See “Budget Belt Tightening at Universities Large and Small,” S5.) Photos and videos showed the Reverend John I. Jenkins in the middle of the crowd, wearing no mask and shaking hands with people in the Rose Garden. Students and faculty, who with few exceptions must wear masks at all times on campus, were outraged over Jenkins’s apparent double standard and failure to follow his own rules. Jenkins later apologized and went back to work. Barbara Jean Morris did not have it so easy. The president of the State University of New York at Oneonta abruptly resigned after more than 700 students tested positive for the coronavirus. A virus control crew was sent to the upstate New York town, and photos of students being led out of dorm rooms in the middle of the night by men in hazmat suits went viral on social media. In-person classes have been shut down through at least the end of the year.  to the top

8   Racial Reconciliation  The names of a university president who promoted eugenics, a former senator and ardent racist, and a member of the Ku Klux Klan are being expunged from their respective campuses as one step toward addressing racial reconciliation.  In addition to symbolic renaming, some schools have pledged to tackle inequality with other initiatives. Harvard Business School’s plans include hiring a chief diversity officer, boosting its enrollment of Black students (which reached a plateau of only 5 percent 30 years ago) and include more diversity issues in its case studies. In a “How To,”  inclusion experts advise administrators to encourage changes to behavior and culture within their sphere of influence by, for instance, walking out of diversity committee meetings that are window dressing efforts. They also advise to know where the problems are and create data-driven action plans and to review procedures and “the way it’s always been done,” which can lead to the “toxic status quo.” As James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  to the top


9    Back to School Fallout:  Coronavirus Infections Surge    The reopening of college campuses for in-person instruction this fall is being linked to tens of thousands of additional cases of Covid-19. A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina, University of Washington, Indiana University, and Davidson College found that it led to 1,100 to 5,300 extra cases per day across the country, with the best estimate being around 3,200. The report recommended that colleges not send students home this fall, unless it’s the end of the semester. “Once they’re on campus, they should stay on campus,” it said. According to another report, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people in their 20s now account for more than 20 percent of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. But the infections don’t stop with them. Outbreaks among young adults may have seeded new waves of infection among the middle-aged and, subsequently, older Americans. The outbreaks are fueling tensions and resentment among residents in college towns like Athens, Georgia, where students are back on campus but six-year-olds have to learn on Zoom.  (See “The Ol’ College Try,” S10.) to the top

10    The Ol’ College Try  Colleges and universities took a variety of approaches to reopening this fall. Some opted for online instruction from the start or adjusted their academic calendars so the semester would end early. Some brought just a small share of students back to campus, while others opened their doors to the entire study body. And still other schools that initially reopened resorted to drastic measures like “targeted lockdowns” to save the semester. The mode of instruction has been pretty evenly split, with 34 percent of classes primarily in-person; another 37 percent primarily online; and the rest a combination of virtual and face-to-face instruction. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, half of Americans say bringing students back to campus was a good idea, while 48 percent disagree. But there’s a deep divide along party lines, with 74 percent of Republicans and only 29 percent of Democrats saying it was the right thing to do. to the top

11     How Some Colleges Are Winning the Covid-19 Battle   As colleges across the country struggle to carry on amid coronavirus outbreaks, “a determined minority are beating the pandemic—at least for the moment.” One success story is Colby College, in Maine, where the virus is so contained that students can wander on and off campus, attend mainly in-person classes, and even go maskless in some situations. Experts say it helps to be located in a small town, have minimal Greek life, and aggressively enforce social distancing. But there’s another factor that successful campuses have in common: extensive testing. More than 100 schools in the Northeast are using the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a biomedical lab, to test students and staff for the disease. At Clark University in Massachusetts, students must probe their own nostrils with a sterile swab every three days. The price tag is not cheap. The university’s disease suppression plan is projected to cost $11 million this year. (See “Back to School Fallout,” S9.) to the top

12    Undergrad Enrollment Plummets in the Midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic   A troubling new report reveals that undergraduate enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities has dropped significantly from a year ago. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, enrollment is down in every region of the country and at every type of institution except four-year, for-profit colleges. First-time students account for the biggest drop. Freshman enrollment has declined by more than 16 percent, and by nearly a quarter at community colleges. Across the board, enrollment is down for every racial and ethnic group, while international student enrollment is down by 13.7 percent. As the fall semester gets under way, it’s low-income students who are the most likely to drop out or not enroll at all. Only 13 percent of college dropouts ever go back to school, and even fewer graduate—raising fears that virtually an entire generation of low-income students may never get a college degree.  to the top

13  College App Drops Question About Bad Behavior   Before there were apps, there was the Common App, the college application used by hundreds of colleges and considered among the most important admissions documents for high school grads. And so it is news that the Common App is eliminating a question that asks college applicants to report whether they’ve been subject to disciplinary action in high school. According a 2018 U.S. Government Accountability Oversight report the question disproportionately impacts low-income students and students of color. The question will stop appearing in the 2021–22 admissions cycle, but colleges can still ask about applicants’ disciplinary records on supplemental application forms. Though no one has proved a connection, it may not be coincidence that, according to a National College Attainment Network analysis, roughly 100,000 fewer high school seniors completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to attend college this year. (See “Undergrad Enrollment Plummets,” S12.) to the top

campus LIFE

14    Faculty Group Launches Covid Governance Investigation    After receiving numerous complaints from faculty members, in late September the American Association of University Professors launched a Covid governance investigation into seven colleges. Instructors say institutions have been making “unilateral decisions” relating to how courses are taught, department closures, and layoffs without seeking faculty input. The resulting report, to be released in 2021, will focus on Canisius, Keuka, and Medaille colleges as well as Illinois Wesleyan, Marian, National, and Wittenberg universities. Meanwhile, student lawsuits demanding Covid-19 refunds are mounting up against colleges and universities nationwide, and hundreds of millions of dollars could be at stake. Disgruntled students say they didn’t get what they paid for when their institutions suddenly shifted to online-only classes, and they are asking courts to decide who should bear the financial burden.  to the top

15   Job Losses Reach Historic Levels    A “staggering” and “unprecedented” number of people working in higher education have lost their jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 337,000 employees—or 7 percent of the higher-ed workforce—were laid off between February and August 2020. At no point since the bureau began keeping industry tallies have colleges and universities ever shed so many jobs so quickly. Adjunct professors are particularly vulnerable. The City University of New York has so far laid off 2,800 adjunct professors, while the University of Michigan–Flint laid off 41 percent of its 300 lecturers. But faculty with seniority and tenure are not immune from layoffs. The University of Akron relied on a “force majeure” clause in its union contract that cleared the way to eliminate 67 faculty positions, regardless of faculty members’ tenure or rank. Amid evidence that female academics published far less than their male peers during the lockdown, some universities like Northwestern are pausing their “tenure clocks” to give them an extra year to publish their academic work. Still, many women worry about the long-lasting effects on their careers.  to the top



16   Justice Department Sues Yale  The U.S. Department of Justice is suing Yale University, alleging that, for decades, the Ivy League school violated civil rights law by discriminating against Asian American and white applicants in favor of their Black and Latinx counterparts. The DOJ claims that Yale engages in “racial balancing” and that Asian Americans and whites have only one-eighth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African Americans with similar academic credentials. The lawsuit marks an escalation of the Trump administration’s efforts to challenge race-based admissions at elite colleges. Yale has been under investigation since 2018 when a complaint was filed by Asian American groups claiming discrimination in admissions. In August of this year, the DOJ issued a report finding that Yale violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits any institution receiving federal funding from discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. In a statement, President Peter Salovey defended Yale’s admissions practices, calling them “completely fair and lawful.” (See “Princeton Admits to Racism,” S17.)  to the top

17  Princeton Admits to Racism, Trump Admin Pounces   The U.S. Education Department has launched an investigation into Princeton University after its president confessed that “racism and the damage it does to people of color” persist at the Ivy League university. Christopher Eisgruber made the admission in an open letter to the university community issued on September 2, following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Blacks whose killings by police sparked nationwide protests. The Trump administration, no friend to the Ivies (see “Justice Department Sues Yale,” S16), immediately opened its probe into whether the university violated federal law. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race in any institution that receives federal funding. In a letter to Princeton, the administration cited “the serious, even shocking nature of Princeton’s admissions,” and noted that the university has received “well over $75 million” in federal support since 2013 alone. A university spokesman commented, “It is unfortunate that the Department appears to believe that grappling honestly with the nation’s history and current effects of systemic racism runs afoul of existing law.” In a move toward un-embedding racism on campus, Princeton had already renamed Woodrow Wilson’s residential college for a Black alumna, Mellody Hobson. Founder of an investment company and a philanthropist, she had been awarded a Woodrow Wilson Award in 2019. She noted the irony of receiving an award named for someone who would not have been welcoming to her and said about future students, “I want them to think, ‘I belong here.” Calling the federal investigation “outrageous,” presidents from more than 80 colleges—including the rest of the Ivy League and schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, and Duke University—are urging the administration to back off.  to the top

18    Affirmative Action Loses in California   California voters had an opportunity, with Proposition 16, to repeal the 1996 amendment to the state constitution prohibiting consideration of race, sex, or ethnicity in public employment, contracting, or education—that is, banning affirmative action. And on election day, November 3, voters refused, by a 15-point margin, to reverse that ban. The ballot measure lost traction at the end. “We should celebrate the dynamic California and recognize that extra government measures on race and sex preferences are unnecessary,” said Wenyuan Wu of Californians for Equal Rights. Anticipating a positive vote (which would allow affirmative action), UC regents had already adopted a policy against quotas based on race and gender in admissions. While race and gender would still be factors, grades, high school coursework, special talents, and family economic and educational backgrounds would carry weight as well. Ivy League schools’ consideration of race in their college admissions is now before the federal courts. California’s continued rejection of affirmative action may help sway a Supreme Court (now including Amy Coney Barrett) to decide that Harvard and Yale used race to discriminate against some student applicants (see “Justice Department Sues Yale,” S16, and “Princeton Admits to Racism,” S17).   to the top

19    What Amy Coney Barrett Means to Higher Ed   The Senate’s confirmation, on October 26, of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court—effecting a remarkable court-packing victory for Trump, who has appointed three conservative justices in his first term as president—has wide implications for higher education, no matter who wins the presidency (see “What the Next President Means for Higher Education,”S26). “Half a century” of higher-ed law could be up for review, according to one legal expert. Barrett, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit who has also taught at the University of Notre Dame for almost two decades, wrote an influential appellate decision last year that made it easier for students accused of committing campus sexual assaults to challenge their university’s handling of the cases. Barrett’s appointment could also “narrow or end the consideration of race” in college admissions, particularly for Black and Latinx students (see “Affirmative Action Loses in California,” S18). And if the Affordable Care Act gets thrown out, health care for college faculty, staff, and adjuncts, as well as the right of students to remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, could all be in jeopardy.  to the top

20   Brigham Young Threatens to Suspend Students Who Intentionally Get Covid    Administrators at Brigham Young University–Idaho say they were “deeply troubled” over rumors that some students were intentionally contracting coronavirus in order to sell their antibody-rich plasma. The university warned that any students found guilty of such behavior “will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed.” It’s hard to say whether the rumors are true or not. Stories about students throwing “Covid parties” to purposefully try to get infected with the virus may be more of an urban myth than fact.  to the top

 external ORDERs

Tertiary Education

21  College of the Future: Streamlined and Online As students flee traditional education pathways, opting for certificates over degrees, colleges are being forced to think outside of the box. California Community Colleges, the largest system of public education in the country, is aiming to use the current shift to online learning as a “steppingstone” to reach more adult learners and help laid-off workers train for new jobs. Paul Quinn College in Dallas is joining a growing list of schools providing short-term credential programs and accelerated degrees designed for working adults. It’s also the first of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to partner with Guild Education, a Denver-based firm that works with companies such as Walmart and Lowe’s to provide education benefits to employees. Students who attend Minerva, a San Francisco–based university and ed-tech startup, move around the world to cities like Berlin, London, and Seoul while taking classes online via livestream. The livestream format allows Mercer to record and collect data on every student’s performance in class—which raises all kinds of privacy concerns. Says Paul Freedman, president of the Learning Marketplace at Guild Education, “There are a lot of universities that get in their own way because of elitism,” adding that working adults are “a hugely important population of people deserving of high-quality education.”  to the top

22    Laid-Off Workers Flock to Top-Tier MBA Programs  There’s one bright spot in the Covid-19 admissions world: Applications to some top-tier MBA programs are skyrocketing. After five consecutive years of declining applicants, business schools say they are now receiving a lot of applications from people who have been furloughed or laid off. Columbia Business School and other elite programs are reporting double-digit-percentage application increases for their fall 2020 classes (see “College of the Future,” S21.) to the top

23  Ivies Dominate College Rankings, but More Students Are Turning to Public Universities
For the fourth year in a row, Harvard University took the top spot in the 2021 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings. And the eight private universities known as the Ivy League are all among the top 15 schools on the list. The University of Michigan, the top-ranked public school, is No. 23. Unlike some other rankings, the WSJ/THE list emphasizes “the return on investment students see after they graduate.” But as students seek more affordable options, elite colleges may be losing some of their luster. Many public schools are reporting record freshman enrollments this fall—including Purdue University (up 11 percent from a year ago) and Georgia State University (up 13 percent). Berea College, a private liberal arts college in Kentucky that doesn’t charge tuition, is rated the best value. (See “College of the Future: Streamlined and Online," S21)  to the top

24   Fundraising Surges at Community Colleges  Surprisingly, a number of community colleges are reporting record fundraising campaigns and more individual donors than ever amid the Covid-19 pandemic. One community college, Harper College in Illinois, raised $120,000 during a six-week campaign in June and July—surpassing its fundraising goal by 215 percent. Alumni giving is up 62 percent and more people are interested in establishing endowed scholarships, which start at $10,000. In a typical year, the school’s education foundation gets about 60 new donors; in fiscal 2020, it got 150. Other community colleges across the country are seeing similar trends. This is welcome news as the Center for American Progress reports that community colleges receive $8,800 less in education revenue per enrolled student than four-year institutions. This translates into a whopping $78 billion gap between the two sectors. (See “College of the Future: Streamlined and Online," S21)  to the top


25    Can the College Debt Crisis Get Any Worse?  College debt is growing at a staggering pace, and for many Americans who are facing job loss and financial uncertainty amid the pandemic, paying for college has become impossible. Between 2004 and 2019, college debt grew by over 100 percent in some states, such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At the same time, “not surprisingly, the cost of going to college at many institutions in those states rose sharply.” Throughout the pandemic, Black and Latinx students have been disproportionately impacted by the debt crisis, and Black students who are also parents often carry the heaviest financial burden.  Despite the availability of federal aid for college students with childcare expenses, many students are missing out, reporting a lack of information from their financial aid offices. Presidential candidate Joe Biden was proposing assistance to families suffering with college debt by offering federally funded two-year public and private college and undergraduate loan forgiveness to families making less than $125,000 per year. Biden has also embraced a plan to relieve student borrowers of up to $10,000 in debt, with those who work in public service seeing an additional $50,000 in potential loan forgiveness. (See “What the Next President Means for Higher Education,” S26.) Some for-profit online universities, such as the former Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institutes, have been accused of perpetuating the debt crisis by misleading and defrauding students through predatory loans, prompting a series of lawsuits against the Education Department for refusing to process, or simply denying, loan-forgiveness requests under the borrower-defense repayment program.  to the top

26    What the Next President Means for Higher Education  A nail-biter, the 2020 presidential election was unofficially decided on November 7, as the vote counts showed Joe Biden sewing up the needed 270 electoral votes. It may not be “certified” for weeks—President Donald Trump was not conceding—but Biden promises a very different program for higher education than Trump. In fact, Democrats made higher ed a major issue, perhaps the best potential motivator of young voters, until Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter took over. And Biden promised to make public colleges, HBCUs, and minority-serving institutions tuition free for families making less than $125,000; cancel $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers; and revise the current loan repayment system. During an interview on CBS, Biden said he would provide free four-year college education, at a cost of $150 billion. Campaign staffers later clarified, saying the cost could be twice as much. The Ivy League may be breathing easier as President Trump, himself an Ivy League graduate, had been critical of elite universities. And his administration challenged top universities on such issues as admissions, free speech, and sexual assault, out of concern, it said, “with protecting the rights of students.” (See “Justice Department Sues Yale,” S16, “Princeton Admits to Racism,” S17, “What Amy Coney Barrett Means to Higher Ed,” S19.)   to the top

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