U.S. immigration officials have issued new guidance saying new international students—unlike current international students—cannot come to the U.S. to take an entirely online course of study. However, while one expert noted a lack of clarity on this point, the guidance issued Friday by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program seems to affirm that new international students may enroll in hybrid programs consisting of a mix of in-person and online courses, as long as their coursework is not “100 percent online.” It also says that students will not be at risk of deportation if their institutions switch from an in-person or hybrid mode to an online-only mode in the middle of the term due to the pandemic.
Mandatory Free Application for Federal Student Aid filing policies aren’t a magical salve, but they can greatly increase the number of students who complete the financial aid form and enroll in college, according to a report. The Century Foundation examined state policies that mandate FAFSA completion for high school students, as well as the outcomes of that policy in Louisiana, the only state so far that has fully enacted its policy.
The rising number of verified coronavirus cases has many colleges confronting a bleak truth: that despite their initial plans, the fall term will likely be virtual. Hosting classes almost exclusively online isn’t a move institutions relish making. Students overwhelmingly prefer face-to-face courses, research shows. And administrators fear that students and families unwilling to pay regular tuition costs for a digital course load, or without a compelling campus experience, will further jeopardize their already uncertain enrollments. Fewer students would mean less money at a time when institutions’ budgets are imperiled. And so in recent weeks, several colleges have reduced the cost of attendance as a way to appeal to students.
The report looks at the 101 most selective public institutions in the country, which include state flagships, colleges with high average SAT scores and colleges classified as “more selective” and “highest research activity” in the 2015 Carnegie Foundation Classification scheme. Ed Trust assigned them grades based on how well their undergraduate student bodies represent the diversity of their state’s population by comparing the percentage of enrolled Black and Latinx students to the percentage of college-aged Black and Latinx people in the state’s population. More than three-quarters of the 101 colleges received an F grade for their representation of Black students. Since 2000, the percentage of Black students decreased at nearly 60 percent of these colleges. Almost half of the colleges received F grades for representation of Latinx students.