Muskegon Community College, in Michigan

Follow our expanded national reporting

It’s been a busy week here at Open Campus HQ. We had our first in-person staff meeting, we’re finalizing a big announcement for next week, and we’re heading to California for a reporting trip and conference.

So in the meantime, here are a few updates and three stories from the higher-ed beat that caught our eye this week. Plus, where to sign up to follow our new national reporters.


Spotlight

A Graduate Degree That Pays Off: The M.B.A.
A Graduate Degree That Pays Off: The M.B.A.www.wsj.com

A Wall Street Journal analysis of federal student loan data found 98% of M.B.A. programs leave students with manageable debt loads. In contrast, the same was true for just 6% of law students.


How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students’ Reports of Sexual Assaultswww.propublica.org
The school founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell ignored reports of rape and threatened to punish accusers for breaking its moral code, say former students. An official who says he was fired for raising concerns calls it a “conspiracy of silence.”


Pandemic Rules Add Stress for Campus RAscalmatters.org

College resident advisors have a complicated job in a normal year. The COVID-19 pandemic adds to their duties, prompting some RAs to strike

Connect With Our National Team

All three of our national reporters are now officially on the job, with Nick Fouriezos and Naomi Harris joining Charlotte West this week.

They’re eager to hear your ideas and talk about what’s missing in the conversation. Sign up here to follow their coverage, and reach out directly:

Nick Fouriezos covers the role of colleges in rural America. Email Nick.

Naomi Harris, who had been working with us in Pittsburgh as part of our local network, now covers race and equity in higher education. Email Naomi.

  • (Our partner in Pittsburgh, PublicSource, is currently hiring for Naomi’s replacement. Apply by Monday to work with us there!)

Charlotte West covers the future of postsecondary education in prisons. Email Charlotte. 

More on Mississippi’s Aid Proposal

Molly Minta, our reporter with Mississippi Today, stayed focused this week on the proposal to overhaul the state financial-aid system. Working with the web team at Mississippi Today, she built a calculator that lets residents get an idea of how the new system might change the amount of state aid they receive.

About 1,800 more students are expected to qualify for aid under the Mississippi One Grant compared with the current programs. But the average aid award is going to decrease — especially for the poorest students. 

Read her previous coverage:

Elsewhere on Open Campus

In Work Shift: Community colleges keep losing students. Can targeted programs change that? Colleges in states like Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia are seeing success with state-subsidized programs focused on career-oriented credentials.

In The Job: A 50-year storm. If preliminary fall numbers hold up, community college enrollments nationwide would be down 14 percent over two years—the largest collapse in a half century.

In El Paso: U. of Texas at El Paso’s enrollment decreases for second year in a row. Concerns about COVID, economic uncertainties, and family and medical issues were reasons officials cited for the drops.

In Next: Making sense of it all. Some leaders are looking forward to a “post-pandemic future” that could come as soon as spring. But what does that mean? A return to 2019? Or a radically different model?

In latitude(s): A campus-speech law could allow China to police U.S. classrooms. Recordings of classes made under a new Florida policy could put students and faculty at risk of running afoul of Chinese national-security law.

Keep in Touch

Apply for our jobs. Join our revenue team, become our Director of Talent, or cover higher ed in Pittsburgh. Get the details.

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Got a story tip or a question? Please send it along.

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