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.
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 Assaults — www.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.”
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:
- (Our partner in Pittsburgh, PublicSource, is currently hiring for Naomi’s replacement. Apply by Monday to work with us there!)
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:
- Black, low-income students will lose thousands in college aid under proposed program
- ‘We are the future’: Students react to proposal that would slash thousands in financial aid
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.
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