Coronavirus News Roundup for April 22

Everything you need to know for Wednesday about higher ed and the coronavirus in one easy-to-read package (with some distractions to help your sanity).

April 22, 2020
 
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Well, yesterday was a slow news day, wasn't it?

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that, if a second wave of COVID-19 hits next winter, the situation will be even worse. President Trump is suspending immigration, which, he says, will help the economy recover. Home sales are beginning to drop.

All we can really do is hunker down and find ways we can help.

One way is by donating to good causes. For example, this animal sanctuary in Colorado. In exchange, you get to have one of their animals make a guest appearance on a videoconference of your choice.

To help you smile a little before the rest of the (mostly bad) news, here are a few more palate cleansers.

A new website will only survive if you post on it. If no one posts to this site for 24 hours, it will self-destruct. Is it a metaphor for something? A commentary on the human psyche? Who knows.

The Newshouse, a student publication out of Syracuse University, has created Fermata, a publication looking specifically at arts and culture during coronavirus. It's an interesting look at how the industry, which really relies on people coming together, is adapting.

To the news!

California State University at Fullerton is one of the first institutions to officially announce its fall semester will, most likely, be online.

The Education Department has made the $6.2 billion earmarked by Congress available to help institutions' operations. It's also released the requirements for the funds.

As Congress discusses possible additional stimulus packages, Democratic senators are saying for-profit institutions shouldn't get any more funding.

Higher ed groups are asking Congress to ensure that college students won't have to pay taxes on aid they receive through the CARES Act.

More closures are coming. Franklin University, an institution in Ohio, is closing down its Urbana branch campus this year.

Some institutions are taking an entirely different approach. Franciscan University, also in Ohio, is promising to cover tuition costs for incoming full-time freshmen. The aid will be applied after grants and scholarships and will cover the fall 2020 semester.

Davidson College presents a third way forward. Its students in the fall will have the option to defer tuition payments until August 2021.

Here’s a quick roundup of our latest stories, in case you’ve fallen a bit behind (we don’t blame you):

Several organizations representing colleges and universities are telling Congress to address immediate needs of student loan borrowers first -- like suspending payments -- before considering debt cancellation, Kery Murakami reports.

COVID-19 might be hurting women's research productivity, as they take the brunt of domestic and emotional labor, Colleen Flaherty writes.

I wrote about the denial of state waiver requests for the federal food assistance program, which is notoriously difficult for students to navigate.

News From Elsewhere

There's talk, and plans, in some states to resume normal life sooner rather than later. But we may be far from the end of this, as shown in Singapore, where coronavirus cases have doubled in the past few days even after the country seemingly did everything right, The New York Times reports.

Education Dive has a story on the best way institutions can get funding to students. The big takeaway: no red tape.

An unanticipated side effect of the pandemic seems to be trouble concentrating -- particularly on reading, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

Percolating Thoughts

This is a time when everyone has an opinion. As journalists, we try not to have opinions, but we've gathered some interesting ones from others.

Screenagers has an article on "digital bingeing" and what it can do to people.

The president emerita of Vassar College implores colleges to use what's happening as an opportunity to raise college attainment rates.

The Century Foundation took a look at the global impacts of the coronavirus on higher education.


Have any percolating thoughts or notice any from others? Feel free to send them our way or comment below.

We’ll continue bringing you the news you need in this crazy time. Keep sending us your questions and story ideas. We’ll get through this together.

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