April 10, 2020

Higher Ed Policy Roundup: Vol. 4 - Issue 13

Policy and Advocacy

This Week In Washington

On Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that she would be moving to immediately distribute $6 billion in emergency financial aid grants to colleges and universities to help students cope with the economic disruption of COVID-19. The funding, authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is part of nearly $14 billion provided in support of postsecondary institutions and students. To receive the funding, colleges and universities will be required to provide the U.S. Department of Education (ED) with a signed certification affirming that the funds will be distributed in accordance with applicable law. The funds must also be distributed directly to students and can go to cover expenses such as course materials, technology, food, housing, health care, and childcare.

News You Can Use

A new white paper published by the American Educational Research Association examines the long-term impact of some states’ decision to ban affirmative action and finds it has led to persistent declines in the proportion of underrepresented minority students that are accepted and enrolled in public universities in these states.

Colleges with vacant campuses grapple with economic uncertainties.

Third Way has released a report on the value of higher education, using ED and Census Bureau data to examine the return on investment for students based on the amount of time it takes to pay back their student loans.

Listen to a conversation about higher education in the time of coronavirus, led by Jon Marcus, the Hechinger Report’s higher education editor.

Recent Legislation

No relevant student aid bills were introduced this week for consideration by the 116th Congress (2019-2020).