Blog & News
Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 4/17/20
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
Our Next Friday 5 Live - Helping Students Finish The Semester Successfully
Please join us April 24 for our next Friday 5 Live at 12:00 Eastern. Dr. Denise Swett will share recommendations and advice for getting our students through the spring term successfully and crafting retention efforts.
Register here to join us on April 24 for our next Friday 5 Live!
COVID-19 and its impact on higher education continue to be the focus of higher education news sources. This week, attention turned to the CARES Act, the continued discussion of grading policy changes, and reports that institutions like Boston University are making plans for a Fall 2020 start without students on campus. WCET has provided additional updates this week on relevant federal policy changes. The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting this week as well as Inside Higher Ed offering up-to-date reporting.
Institutions are scrambling to address demands for refunds from students forced off campus by COVID related closures, reports Inside Higher Ed this week. Many institutions began to provide partial refund plans in the weeks after closing. Students at the University of Minnesota petitioned their Board of Regents for refunds while students in Arizona have filed a class action lawsuit demanding partial repayment of room and board and student fees. Universities are reporting losses in the millions of dollars on student refunds: Clemson estimates it will refund $15 million, and the University of Maine reports it has paid out $12.8 million to students in room and board refunds.
DACA students are not eligible for federal financial aid, but does that mean they are also ineligible for relief from the CARES Act? This is the question many institutions are grappling with as they look to how they can distribute CARES Act monies. Policy experts recommend institutions think creatively about how they can provide resources to impacted students like contracting with providers to directly secure childcare or providing technology.
The Chronicle reports this week on job training programs halted by COVID-19 closures and the impact of those closures on low-income students. Students in high demand fields like nursing and welding have had to stop in-person training, and those in the final stages of work-based training are unsure of their future employment or the length of time it will now take them to finish their program. Many states are adjusting licensure requirements in programs like nursing by shifting clinical hours online via simulation versus direct patient care. Experts worry long delays in program completion will result in students dropping out - a result that would be damaging to the students and their local economies.
“Students who are enrolled in our career and technical programs and allied health programs are getting prepared to enter high-demand fields that pay family-sustaining wages. The delay in their ability to complete their education is keeping many of them in poverty.” Columbia Basin College’s president, Rebekah S. Woods.
April 17, 2020