Colleges COVID-19 Policies Vary by Region
A survey of higher-ed faculty and staff conducted by Liaison International during the summer found “stark differences in their colleges’ fall semester COVID-19 protocols and plans across institutions and geographic regions.” For example, while approximately two-thirds of respondents overall (68%) reported mask requirements for students, only 53% of those in the South did so. Elsewhere, 84% of schools in the West had a mask mandate, as did 73% in the Midwest and Northeast. “A quarter of respondents from the South said their institutions were requiring vaccines for staff members, compared to 37% in the Midwest, 58% in the Northeast and 70% in the West.” The entire Liaison report, “COVID-19 Fall 2021 Impact on Higher Education,” is available online.
Source: Inside Higher Ed
Test Score Submissions Plummeted Last Year
The number of students who submitted standardized test scores with their Common App college applications declined dramatically during the 2020-2021 school year, from more than 75% the previous year to approximately 40%. “Common App found that first-generation and underrepresented minority students were also less likely to provide admissions exam scores than other applicants, lending credence to the argument that test-optional policies can help colleges draw more applications from these groups.” Last year, 30% of first-generation students submitted standardized test scores, compared with 48% of other applicants. Thirty-one percent of Native American, Black, Latinx and Pacific Islander applicants opted to submit the scores, versus 47% of non-minority college hopefuls.
Source: Higher Ed Dive
Most Americans — Especially Employers — See the Value in a College Education
A new report found that most Americans (60%) believe college is still worth the investment of time and money, but that number jumped considerably (to 87%) when survey respondents also happened to be employers. Respondents’ income, education and political views also accounted for differences in opinion. For example, nearly three-quarters of those earning at least $100,000 (74%) or holding a bachelor’s degree (73%) felt that way, whereas only about half of those earning less than $50,000 (52%) or without a degree (51%) shared that opinion. “Similarly, respondents who identified as Democrats (70%) were much more likely to believe a college degree is ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ worth it than those who identified as Republicans (53%) or independents (52%).”
The College Gender Gap Continues to Widen for Men
In a trend that’s been described as “the most consequential college predicament you may not have heard about,” the number of male college students sank to an all-time low last year (40.5%). According to one researcher, there will soon be two women earning a college degree for every man who has attained the same level of education if the trend continues. “[T]he gender gap has been ‘slowly widening for 40 years,’ and carries across just about all barriers, from two- to four-year schools, as well as racial, geographical and economic boundaries.”