Rice University in Houston will provide two residence halls beginning April 12 for health care workers who are fighting the coronavirus pandemic at Texas Medical Center facilities. The dormitories have a capacity of 500, but they will only house 100 medical professionals in an effort to maintain social distancing.
The Great Recession of 2008 led to a significant increase in college enrollment, particularly among older adults who attended community colleges and for-profit online schools, but it is unclear if the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic will have the same effect. The government expanded the number of grants available to students in the last recession, while the current stimulus bill has no such stipulations, and there is added uncertainty because it is unknown whether students will be able to return to physical campuses this fall.
ETS says it will continue administering the Graduate Record Examination and the Test of English as a Foreign Language during the coronavirus pandemic, using proctors with ProctorU to monitor students taking the tests remotely in every country except Iran and China. The proctors will make a security check and also monitor the testing area for unauthorized books and notes.
With a state of emergency in effect in Boise, Idaho, officials at Boise State University are warning students living on campus to observe the city's stay-at-home order or risk eviction. The university has six known cases of the coronavirus.
Congress needs to incorporate more money in the next coronavirus stimulus bill to assist higher education during the outbreak, write Douglas Schoen, president of Schoen Consulting, and Elliot Stein, chairman of Senturion Forecasting and member of the board of trustees for the New School and Claremont Graduate University. Among their recommendations is making tuition tax deductible for most families and increasing federal funding for colleges and universities.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a loss of 701,000 jobs in March, driving the unemployment rate to 4.4%. Barclay's US chief economist, Michael Gapen, predicts April will show more losses and that the unemployment rate could be more than 10%.
As college students are managing many disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, many in Arizona and across the US are requesting their schools switch to a pass/fail grading system. Students say the change would also alleviate inequities for those from less privileged backgrounds who might not have the same resources and living conditions as other classmates and might have difficulty achieving the same grades while at home with family.
Endicott College is adjusting its budget in the wake of the campus closing, predicting $8.5 million in refunds for unused room and board, lower enrollment in the fall and an extension of its capital campaign. The seaside college, however, relies less on tuition than some schools as it rents out facilities for weddings, conferences and special events.
Colleges and universities have the ability to lead efforts to control the coronavirus crisis, according to S. Abu Turab Rizvi and Peter Eckel. Schools can give essential personnel a platform for their expertise to fight COVID-19, help front-line workers with housing and supplies and also can support their communities with online tools, they write.
The San Francisco Art Institute won't admit any new students after this semester in an effort to stay afloat while finances and possible mergers with nearby schools are explored. MacMurray College in Illinois announced it will close after the semester due to ongoing financial constraints.
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