EDU news curated by Kiosk: Supreme Court rulings analysis…and other higher ed news

UNC responds to Supreme Court ruling

From Inside Higher Ed: “In a message to the campus, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said, ‘Our responsibility to comply with the law does not mean we will abandon our fundamental values as a university. We are and will remain passionately public, and we will ensure that every student who earns admission to Carolina can come here and thrive. …’ The university will provide free tuition and required fees for incoming undergraduates from North Carolina whose families make less than $80,000 per year. ‘As part of our commitment to reach future Tar Heels throughout the state, we have hired additional outreach officers as part of our admissions team. They are serving in under-resourced communities to spread awareness of our affordability and recruit students from across the state.’”


Colleges scrutinize race-based financial aid after affirmative action ruling

From The Washington Post: “Karen McCarthy, vice president of public policy and federal relations at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said school officials are asking questions such as, ‘What are the gray areas? How do we advance diversity and equity considerations but still be compliant with this decision and the law?’… But some legal scholars said the implication for financial aid, even though the SC cases were focused on admissions, is clear. ‘Race-based scholarships are not going to be allowed,’ said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California at Berkeley’s law school. ‘In states that have eliminated affirmative action already, they have also eliminated race-based scholarships.’”


Expanding access after affirmative action. Here are 2 big things colleges can do right now to increase diversity.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Invest in more need-based financial aid. About 25 percent of financial aid provided by colleges goes to students from the wealthiest families … Because race and ethnicity are highly correlated with wealth, these practices disproportionately exclude Black and Hispanic students. We know that more money can be dedicated to need-based aid. … Recruit and admit more community-college transfers. Every year, an estimated 15,000 first-year, low-income community-college students earn at least a 3.7 grade-point average, yet they have not transferred to any four-year college. … Transfer students are a great source of diversity for two reasons. First, they have excelled in actual college courses, which is just as (or even more) predictive of later success in college than high-school admissions processes … Second, community-college students are far more likely to be low-income, Black, or Hispanic than those who start at four-year colleges.


As affirmative action ends, HBCUs wait or plan for the fallout

From Inside Higher Ed: “Some leaders of historically Black colleges and universities expect the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action to bring a flood of applicants to their institutions. They’re not sure they’re ready. … While many HBCUs are eager to accept more students, some of the institutions’ presidents and advocates worry they don’t have the resources and infrastructure to absorb them. Other HBCU administrators doubt the decision will meaningfully affect their institutions, compared to predominantly white universities where admissions officials are wringing their hands as they try to determine how to diversify their student bodies without running afoul of the ruling.”


Federal civil rights complaint challenges Harvard’s legacy admissions

From Lawyers for Civil Rights: “The Chica Project, the African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE), and the Greater Boston Latino Network (GBLN) filed a federal civil rights complaint against Harvard College, challenging its discriminatory practice of giving preferential treatment in the admissions process to applicants with familial ties to wealthy donors and alumni (‘legacy applicants’). The complaint, alleging widespread violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) by Lawyers for Civil Rights.


Biden administration adds students to income-contingent plan

From Inside Higher Ed: “The Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan replaces the existing Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan. SAVE increases the income exemption from 150 percent to 225 percent of the poverty line. That means borrowers will not owe loan payments if they are a single borrower earning $32,800 or less or a family of four earning $67,500 or less. Borrowers earning more than these amounts will save at least $1,000 per year, compared to the current income-driven repayment plans.”


$39 billion in student loan relief for 804,000 people

From Inside Higher Ed: “The administration said in April 2022 that it would adjust accounts to give borrowers credit for payments and time spent in repayment. The adjustment is part of an effort to address failures in administering the income-driven repayment system ‘in which qualifying payments made under IDR plans that should have moved borrowers closer to forgiveness were not accounted for,’ the department said in a news release. This first group of borrowers who will see relief hold $39 billion in student loans and include those who have made enough payments over 20 to 25 years to see the rest of their balances wiped out. The department will continue to track borrowers who reach the forgiveness thresholds every two months until next year.”


In other news…

‘Metaversities’ face virtual learning’s financial realities

From Inside Higher Ed: “Faculty and students are taking to learning in the metaverse, but universities wonder how they will pay for it once Meta’s two-year pilot program ends. … ‘The dilemma we have is the demand and interest is much higher than we can accommodate,’ said Daniel Mintz, department chair for information technology at the University of Maryland Global Campus. UMGC was one of 10 institutions chosen by Facebook’s parent company, Meta, for a metaversity pilot program in the fall of 2022. The initiative is part of Meta’s $150 million investment in immersive learning.”


Public trust in higher ed has plummeted. Yes, again.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Five years ago, roughly half of people surveyed by Gallup expressed confidence in colleges and universities. That share has dwindled to just over one third … Since 2015, confidence in higher ed has fallen by 21 percentage points. … Since these findings were collected in early- to mid-June, they don’t factor in the Supreme Court’s consequential decisions striking down race-conscious admissions and axing President Biden’s student-loan debt forgiveness plan.The survey didn’t investigate the reasons behind the loss of trust. But other recent Gallup polling shows the findings square with a larger crisis of confidence Americans are feeling when it comes to institutions, including the military, banks, and the health-care industry.”


Americans’ faith in higher education is shaken. Leaders can create a turnaround

From Forbes: “Big-data research supported by Lumina Foundation on media narratives shows positive stories about higher education frequently go unheard, and damaging narratives have moved from fringe media to the mainstream. … Leaders should make the case for higher ed—not merely by defending what it is and does … Do more to take on the challenge of delivering real, lasting value. Develop strategies to improve affordability. Focus on the relevance of learning, and how higher education is central to a middle-class life and long-term, shared value for society—both today, and in an increasingly human work-focused labor market.”


In UK Education news…

Ministers confirm numbers cap plan for ‘rip-off’ degree courses

From Times Higher Education: “According to the OfS’ annual report, the most recent figures showed that 5.2 per cent of all providers were below baseline on continuation, 6.7 per cent below baseline on completion, and 1.6 per cent below baseline on employment progression, although that was up from 0.7 per cent two years earlier. While the bulk of courses at highly selective universities are unlikely to be affected – although this is not universally the case according to THE analysis – there are concerns that the clampdown will unfairly punish institutions that recruit high proportions of students from working-class or ethnic minority backgrounds.”


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