Undergraduate enrollment numbers increased during the fall semester for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic while the number of freshmen enrolling in colleges and universities declined, according to the National Student Research Clearinghouse Center (NSRCC).
Undergraduate enrollment at colleges and universities increased 2.1% compared to 2022 and 1.2% compared to 2021, with community colleges accounting for nearly 59% of the increase, according to the NSRCC. Freshmen enrollment declined by 3.6%, with bachelor programs seeing a 6.9% and 4.7% decline, respectively, at public and private four-year nonprofit institutions.
Ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of affirmative action in universities’ admissions process, 50% of Americans are opposed to the race-based method, according to a Thursday Pew Research poll.
Approximately 74% of Republicans disapprove of the use of affirmative action while 29% of Democrats also disapprove of the race-based admissions process, according to a Pew Research poll. In October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two lawsuits which will decide whether Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s use of race-based admission policies is constitutional.
State abortion laws may be swaying students’ decisions about their college futures, according to study results first published by Gallup on Thursday.
Approximately 72% of currently enrolled college students admitted that state abortion laws play an important role in determining whether to stay enrolled, according to the poll, which was conducted in partnership with the Lumina Foundation. While smaller, a majority of respondents aged 18-59 who are not currently enrolled in higher education admitted that they would consider the abortion law of the state a college or university is located before enrolling.
As the plague of woke totalitarianism continues to besiege American universities, I note that we are finally beginning to see a little pushback. Public universities in Texas offer typical examples of this yin-yang process.
Over recent decades, parents, grandparents, and high school students have been subject to a barrage of messages suggesting that everyone should go to college. Higher education is the pathway to more money and more status, we’re told.
Few have asked, “Is this path best for all young people, and is it best for our country?” Many young people are not cut out for college, but they have other talents. The vast majority of jobs in this country don’t require a college degree, although many do require additional training.
A free speech watchdog group Thursday morning named several prominent colleges and universities to its list of the top ten worst colleges in the country for freedom of speech based on specific times the institutions reportedly violated students’ and faculties’ rights.
The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) named Hamline University, Collin College, Emerson University, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Loyola University New Orleans (NOLA), Texas A&M, Pennsylvania State University, Emporia State University, Tennessee Tech University and the University of Oregon as the worst institutions for free speech in its 12th annual report, shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. The report detailed the worst cases of censorship the watchdog faced at higher education institutions in 2022.
Republican House Speaker Paul Renner of Florida requested Thursday that state public colleges and universities submit documentation about the “prevalence” of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices and programs on campus, Florida’s Voice reported.
The requests were delivered to every president’s office in the Florida College System and the State University System, according to Florida’s Voice. The request furthers a demand from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Dec. 28 which required colleges and universities to submit a report detailing the amount of state funding used on DEI and critical race theory programs.
In a famous exchange in the The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway wrote: “How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually, then suddenly.”
“Gradually” and “suddenly” applies to higher education’s implosion.
Many parents send their college students off for a new academic year with well-intentioned advice. For some, that now includes a cautious directive: maintain a low profile in the classroom on political and religious subjects. Parents have good reason to offer such counsel.
Accreditation pervades American education from kindergarten through graduate school. It has become a means through which the government enforces subpar educational outcomes and increases its power.
Of course, it didn’t start out that way.
Primary and secondary accreditation began in the 1880s as a voluntary method to improve quality among schools and establish standards for students preparing for college.
In a 2021 lecture at Yale University titled “The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind,” psychiatrist Aruna Khilanani described her “fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step, like I did the world a favor.”
Critics are taking Biden’s student loan forgiveness initiative to task because they believe it will only raise tuition in the future.
The Education Data Initiative reports that as of January 2022, in-state tuition and fees for a public 4-year university in Michigan climbed 3.31% in the last year. The cost for out-of-state tuition and fees climbed 2.76% during the same timeframe. The cost for room and board jumped a combined 10.59% in the last year.
According to official Florida A&M University (FAMU) student residential policy, “[b]ehavior and/or activities that are considered offensive to others that do not constitute ones freedom of expression is prohibited, while in public areas of the residential facilities.”
This is just one of a multitude of FAMU policies that, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), are in tension with the freedom of speech and expression at the school.
We all know how the Biden administration, on Day One, reversed two of the most successful Trump initiatives — energy independence and border control — turning with executive orders both areas into the twin disasters that have become part of our daily lives.
After nearly two years of unprecedented lockdowns, mandates, and other restrictions on daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of graduating high school students are preparing to head off to college without having learned nearly as much as they should have.
The Associated Press reports that such students are about to enter college significantly farther behind the academic standards of previous years, almost entirely due to the pandemic’s forced transition to “online learning,” a shortage of teachers, and mask and vaccine mandates that disrupted school life for millions of students across the country. Such students risk the possibility of being grossly underprepared for the level of work required by college, and could result in a massive spike in college dropouts in the coming years.
May is National College Decision Month, when 1.2 million Class of 2022 high school seniors must commit to the institution where they’ll spend the next four-to-six years.
Two of those high school seniors, Bill and Jane, will soon graduate and both will attend a very selective, but very different, institution in the fall. Let’s explore and project the net return on their decisions, six-years from now, based on facts and national averages.
Following student pushback against a Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) flyer found at the University of California, San Diego, Campus Reform took a deep dive into what other progressive agendas the national student chapters supported.
In doing so, Campus Reform found that YDSA chapters across the country are demanding free tuition and debt forgiveness, advocating for the recognition of student employee unions, and pressing to take “community control” of police departments.
Additionally, these groups have recently hosted rallies, meetings, and book discussions on topics such as abortion, minimum wage, marijuana decriminalization, and Palestine.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, colleges and universities are hosting events to celebrate womxn, not women.
In an effort to become more inclusive of those that deny biological reality, higher education is in fact erasing women’s opportunities to excel in academics, athletics, and career tracks.
I am proud to be a woman. Women have been pivotal to our society. But making women compete with men undermines females’ ability to achieve success.
Ohio State University encouraged students to “thank abortion providers” as part of its organized “Sex Week,” Fox News reported.
Student Advocates for Sexual Health Awareness is hosting a “Sex Week” funded by the Ohio State University Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the College of Social Work, Fox News reported. The event is funded through student activity fees from the Council on Student Affairs, according to the “Sex Week” website.
On Feb. 16, an event called “Valentine’s for Abortion Providers” is described as an opportunity “to help thank abortion providers in Ohio and Texas for the valuable work they do for reproductive rights!” according to the Sex Week at the Ohio State University website.
Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) recently documented dozens of Christian-affiliated schools that maintain ties with or reference to Planned Parenthood.
Campus Reform found many of these schools are also tied to abortion in other ways. Below is a sampling of Christian-affiliated universities and colleges that promote abortion advocacy and providers.
Texas Christian University
Affiliation: Disciples of Christ
A common college admissions test, the SAT, will roll out its online version in the U.S. starting in March 2024, The Wall Street Journal reported. The new test is reportedly expected to be easier, shorter and simpler.
The test will be reduced from three hours to two with shorter reading passages followed by single questions, while math problems will be less wordy with calculators permitted for every question, according to Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments at the College Board, the test’s operator and regulator, the WSJ reported.
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give and more relevant,” Rodriguez told the WSJ.
Campus Reform is monitoring the colleges and universities starting the 2022 academic year online.
These institutions are imposing the changes due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Seven out of the 10 University of California chancellors decided to begin the winter quarter remotely. This includes UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
New polling from Axios and Generation Lab shows that Democrat college students are far more likely than their Republican classmates to refuse to date, work for, or even be friends with someone who voted for the other party’s presidential candidate.
71 percent of Democrats in college said they would not go on a date with someone who voted for the GOP presidential candidate. 41 percent would not shop at a business owned by the same. 37 percent would not be friends with someone who voted for that candidate, and 30 percent would not work for that person.
Republicans in college were far more tolerant of those with differing views. Though 31 percent said they would not go on a date with someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate, only 7 percent said they would not work for or support a business owned by the same. 5 percent of Republicans in college said they would not be friends with someone who voted for the Democratic presidential ticket.
A Christian activist’s appearances at Salem State University prompted the institution to change its free speech policies while being legally compelled to uphold the individual’s First Amendment rights.
Campus Reform has previously covered the activist, Chike Uzuegbunam during his legal fights to exercise free speech as he publicly promotes his religious views, which have come under scrutiny for their purported anti-LGBTQ messages.
In October 2020, Uzuegbunam won his Supreme Court case against his institution after Georgia Gwinnett that his speech, which included controversial flyers, “should not be constitutionally protected,” Campus Reform reported in March.
A student organization at the College of Wooster is calling for the school to apply affirmative action to its theater productions.
The BIPOC Performing Arts Alliance (PAA) has written a list of demands for the university, which according to The Wooster Voice, include having:
At least one department play yearly that is BIPOC written or starring a BIPOC student (this student should not be the only BIPOC student in the cast) in one of its leading roles. This can also be fulfilled by student productions that are treated like main stage productions. The department must show a vested interest in BIPOC work.
Additionally, the students demand that Shirley Huston-Findley, a professor of theater and dance, resign “from department chair until further substantial equality education is reached and the DEI plan is completed.”
The College Democrats of America (CDA) has been rocked by public accusations of bigotry against its leadership and calls for members to step down.
Nourhan Mesbah, the group’s vice president, is undergoing impeachment proceedings after a tweet she posted at age 13 was shared by the CDA Jewish Caucus, Politico reported. “I blame this debate on the yahood,” Mesbah tweeted during a 2016 presidential debate. “Yahood” is an Arabic word used as a slur against Jews, Politico wrote.
Mesbah apologized for the tweet, reportedly saying “my comment was in no way rooted in malice or anti-semitism, especially as a 13-year old, relatively new immigrant from North Africa, with a different regional dialectic linguist comprehension … while I take responsibility for my actions, I am hurt by the Islamophobia and xenophobia that continues to unfold.”
Americans by and large oppose giveaways to the affluent or privileged, which explains why they consistently oppose forgiving college student-loan debt. Eighty percent of Americans have no student loan debt, and those who carry debt are disproportionately millennials with advanced degrees – and higher earning potential. Easy loan forgiveness falls under the umbrella of the free college agenda championed by most Democrats, but strong opposition led the Biden administration to drop free college from the spending bill it proposed last month.
Not to worry: Democrats discovered a backdoor to free college through an obscure and arcane Department of Education (DOE) rule. Known as Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR), the rule existed as little more than a formality in the annals of the Federal Register, a stopgap to finalize the Federal Direct Loan Program. Through the first twenty years of its existence, it was implemented just five times, but it has now evolved into a battering ram for Democrats to get free college through the political barricades.
In 2015, Corinthian Colleges, which enrolled over 100,000 students at its 100 subsidiary campuses, filed for bankruptcy. The school’s collapse coincided with growing momentum for the “cancel college debt” and “free college” campaigns, which had evolved out of the Occupy Wall Street movement of the early 2010s and found friendly supporters in Congress, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Dick Durbin.
Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul launched a new program: an incentive to get children ages 5 through 11 to take COVID shots, now that they are available. The program in question has that usual bureaucratic and humorless advertising campaign: “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate.”
According to the New York State website, “Parents and guardians of children ages 5 through 11 who receive their first vaccine dose by December 19th can enter the State’s incentive program for a chance for their child to win a full scholarship to any two- or four-year SUNY or CUNY college or university; the scholarship includes tuition, room, and board. Ten winners will be announced each week beginning November 24th, with a total of 50 winners being selected over the five-week period.”
A professor at Coastal Carolina University was canceled after he emailed his department questioning their reaction to a perceived racial bias incident that proved to be baseless.
“Free speech and basic civility are disappearing,” the theater professor Steven Earnest told Campus Reform. “So, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I still am.”
On Sept. 16, a non-White visiting artist working with non-White theatre students at the South Carolina university wrote a list of names on the board so that the students could connect as a group.
Campus Reform reported earlier this month on the denial of a “Back the Blue” shirt designed by the College Republicans chapter at Ohio Northern University.
ONU College Republicans president Madeline Markwood submitted a shirt design to the university’s Communications and Marketing Department with the pro-police phrase printed on the sleeve and a Thin Blue Line flag printed on the back.
The department denied Markwood’s submission because other schools have had to “retract and apologize” for similar initiatives.
University systems with bans on COVID-19 mask mandates are taking diametrically opposed approaches to faculty who refuse to comply, offering a real-time experiment in the effectiveness of persuasion versus coercion.
The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) removed biology professor Steve O’Kane from the classroom for the rest of the semester and forced him to forgo a merit pay raise for threatening to grade down students for not wearing masks.
The same day the faculty senate voted to indefinitely postpone O’Kane’s resolution to let faculty require masks in spite of the Board of Regents ban, Cedar Rapids news outlet The Gazette reported.
As dozens of Confucius Institutes close on college campuses, some may be replaced with Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning (TCML).
The initiative, known as the TCML Establishment Program, is a part of the U.S.-Taiwan Education Initiative, a memorandum of understanding signed by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in December of 2020.
Campus Reform previously reported on the threats posed by Confucius Institutes, including ties to the Chinese Community Party (CCP) and intellectual theft.
A recent study examined the association between college students’ “self-reported prevalence of cognitive distortions and their endorsement of safetyism-inspired beliefs, the belief that words can harm, and the broad use of trigger warnings.”
Published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, the article utilizes the definition of “safetyism” found in the book The Coddling of the American Mind, intending the term to mean a “culture that treats safety – including emotional safety – as a sacred value, which results in adherents diminished willingness to sacrifice safety for other moral or practical considerations.”
The four-person research team included three members from the University of California, Irvine, including the lead author, and one investigator from St. Edward’s University in Texas.
Professors from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs are arguing that “success and merit” are “barriers” to the equity agenda.
“Admitting that the normative definitions of success and merit are in and of themselves barriers to achieving the goals of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary but not sufficient to create change,” professors Beth Mitchneck and Jessi L. Smith recently wrote for Inside Higher Education.
Mitchneck and Smith attributed those definitions to a “narrow definition of merit limited to a neoliberal view of the university.” Specifically, they express concern that universities receive funding and recognition based on the individual performances of professors’ own work such as peer reviewed journals and studies.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is no longer using “Come and Take It” as a football chant.
In August, university President Taylor Eighmy expressed concern that “Come and Take It” is inseparably linked to political debates, including those over gun rights.
The chant is emblazoned on a flag waved at UTSA’s football games and also used as a rallying cry during the fourth quarter.
The Virginia Department of Education recently posted a video on their YouTube Channel telling teachers to avoid talking about American exceptionalism while teaching about September 11, 2001.
Campus Reform reporter Ophelie Jacobson talked with University of Florida students about this video to see how students think 9/11 should be taught in the classroom.
Suggestions for lesson plans included keeping “gruesome” facts out of lesson plans avoiding discussion of who was responsible for the attacks.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that his office will investigate the and the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University.
“The investigation is aimed at identifying and getting to the bottom of the true intent of any relationships between Valparaiso University’s programming and the Chinese Communist Party,” a statement from Rokita’s office reads.
Valparaiso, a private Lutheran institution, received $1.1 million from the Chinese government between 2010-2019 and acknowledges the Rokita’s investigation on its Confucius Institute website.
University of California’s new Community Safety Plan shifts major responsibilities and funding away from UC Police Departments.
The plan, based on an 80-page report released this summer by the Department of Public Safety Community Advisory Board, was announced by UC President Michael Drake last week and will be implemented across all 10 campuses. It reflects UC’s “commitment to equity and social justice.”
“Under this new model, a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals, campus police, social service providers, police accountability boards and other personnel will work together to prioritize the well-being of the entire UC community,” Drake said in a message to the university. “This reimagined structure will ensure that the m,ost appropriate responders are deployed to meet our community’s specific needs with tailored care resources and services.”
Susan King is stepping down as dean of the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
The university announced the decision yesterday.
The Hussman School faced backlash from progressives after it apparently backed off from a plan to give Hannah-Jones tenure for her work as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.
The Department of Education announced Thursday that it will cancel student loan debt for over 300,000 borrowers with severe disabilities.
The program, set to erase over $5.8 billion in total debt, will begin in September and apply to over 323,000 borrowers classified as having a “total and permanent disability” by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Education Department announced. Borrowers will now receive automatic discharges of their debt, whereas previously needed to fill out applications.
“Today’s action removes a major barrier that prevented far too many borrowers with disabilities from receiving the total and permanent disability discharges they are entitled to under the law,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in the announcement.
American colleges continue to face the consequences of COVID, as data show they experienced a significant decrease in returning students this past school year.
Many post-secondary education plans to take classes were canceled in 2020. In August of last year, the US Census Bureau conducted a survey which showed 29.4 percent of households with at least one prospective student had canceled their plans to take classes in the fall of 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic.
A George Mason University law professor with naturally acquired immunity from COVID is fighting against his employer’s strict COVID vaccine mandate.
Antonin Scalia Law School Professor Todd Zywicki, who recovered from a bout with COVID and has blood tests showing antibodies to the virus, said he will not agree to the university’s policy that employees get the vaccine or face numerous sanctions.
“George Mason is forcing me to choose between serving my students on one hand and undergoing an unnecessary and potentially risky medical procedure on the other,” Zywicki said in a statement.
Columbia University has developed new programming to help black and Hispanic medical students “disrupt racism” and confront microaggressions they could face.
A medical school professor, who is also the diversity director, said that the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota has made the situation worse at the New York institution.
Professor Jean Alves-Bradford said in a news release that “it’s been very difficult for students in general, but especially for students underrepresented in medicine.”
After her sorority at Louisiana State University kicked her out, Emily Hines says the school ignored her request for the incident to be investigated for possible bias.
Alpha Phi, a Greek Life organization independent of LSU, revoked Hines’ membership in April over her TikTok video that criticized Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine for her transgender identity. The seven-second video featured the Bee Gees’ song “More Than a Woman.”
Despite being told that the organization does not side with political views,” Hines told The College Fix she believes the decision was politically motivated.
A group of 20 American professors signed a joint letter with a group of Chinese professors demanding that the United States work more closely with China on future research efforts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter, which appeared in the most recent edition of the American Chemical Society’s journal of Environmental Science and Technology, was signed by 21 Americans and 19 Chinese. Of the 40 signatories, nine of the Americans had received their educations in Chinese universities; 18 of the journal’s editors have worked for institutions backed in some capacity by the Chinese government.
The letter’s authors claim that while “increasing geopolitical competition has generated greater mistrust between the U.S. and China…a great deal of this mistrust results from misunderstanding.” The letter recommends that American and Chinese “funding agencies should also seek opportunities to fund joint global research projects in SDG [sustainable development goals] areas for the common good.”
Among a list of building names George Washington University has collected for study and review is Francis Scott Key Hall.
Key is the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
But the private, Washington D.C.-based university has received a request to rename Francis Scott Key Hall and it will consider whether to scrap the moniker at some point in the future, according to its Name Change Request Registry.
University officials did not respond to repeated requests from The College Fix over the last week asking about the nature of the complaint or complaints against Francis Scott Key Hall and whether students or faculty asked for it to be reviewed.
The University of North Alabama’s student government is threatening to remove its new president for saying gays and lesbians must be “born again.”
Jake Statom has already apologized for his short-lived Instagram Story, posted during LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but his colleagues warned that he will face impeachment proceedings if he does not resign.
The university has defended Statom’s “right to freedom of speech, even when it is offensive to others,” citing a recent Supreme Court ruling on student speech, but has not stated whether it will halt impeachment proceedings or overturn his removal.
Ibram X. Kendi stated Wednesday that teaching young students anti-racism was a “prudent thing to do for teachers.”
The Boston University professor was a featured speaker at the 2021 TEACH conference, a virtual event hosted by the American Federation of Teachers.
The conversation occurred at a time of heightened focus across the nation on CRT in classrooms. It also represents the latest push by Kendi to advance anti-racism in American institutions.
Findings from a new North Dakota State University survey reveal that the majority of students identifying as liberal or liberal-leaning are not proud of America.
In response to the question “Are you proud to be American?” 57 percent of liberal identifying students answered ‘no’. This is in contrast to the 73 percent majority of conservatives who answered ‘yes’ to the same question.
This response was generated from a nationwide survey which asked over 400,000 students from more than 1,000 American college campuses questions about their feelings on a number of social and political issues. NDSU publicly announced the survey on Thursday.
Dr. Elliot Stern, president of Saddleback College, a public community college in California, issued an open letter commemorating Juneteenth that also voiced support for Critical Race Theory.
Amid thoughtful comments on the historical significance of Juneteenth and the importance of commemorating Emancipation, Stern equated the ongoing backlash against Critical Race Theory to the “Red Scare” of the 1950s:
“Politicians create bogeymen of scholars of race study and are passing laws to prevent schools from teaching widely acclaimed scholarship,” he wrote. “Critical Race Theory is the new Communism.”