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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Natow

Phase out of ACT/SAT in California, Plans to Reopen Campuses, and More Higher Ed Policy in the News

There is a lot of higher education policy in the news today, including some big news from California that the UC system has voted to phase out use of the ACT/SAT in college admissions. In 2025, the system will either introduce a new standardized test for admissions or not require any standardized test. See news coverage in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and Politico.

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has expressed optimism about reopening schools and returning to "normalcy" in the near future. Inside Higher Education reports that Alexander said, "“The surest sign that we’re beginning to regain the rhythm of American life will come when 70 million students go back to school and to college this fall."

Some colleges have announced early starts and endings to the fall semester in anticipation of a second wave of COVID 19 late in the fall, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators estimates an over $4.5 billion shortfall due to expected declines in the enrollments of international students at U.S. colleges and universities in 2020, reports Inside Higher Education.

Finally, the U.S. Department of Education yesterday clarified the guidance it issued last month indicating that students who do not qualify to receive Title IV financial aid would not be eligible for CARES Act funding. From Inside Higher Education: "Yesterday the department issued a statement about its take on the emergency aid grants, saying 'guidance documents lack the force and effect of law.' That language led many in higher education to think that the Trump administration in essence would allow colleges to distribute the aid to DACA students. However, several financial aid experts were unsure, saying the statement created more confusion than clarity. That's because it also suggested undocumented students would be excluded from the aid because of restrictions in underlying laws."

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