‘Clear as mud’ housing refund plans irk college students

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When Laura Comino opened the housing email from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in June, she knew she had to take action.

At the direction of the state’s public university system, UNCG asked her to sign a housing contract addendum acknowledging that she might not get a refund if the school kicks her out of her dorm in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

An online petition Comino circulated days later collected nearly 40,000 signatures from people demanding that all 16 UNC System colleges offer prorated refunds and return deposits if the virus closes dorms.

“People got so incredibly upset thinking this would affect all of us, and there’s a possibility where it still might,” Comino said.

With classes scheduled to begin in August, the possibility of no refunds has left students and administrators alike with questions. Comino and the dean of her

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Case of teen jailed for missing online classwork shows how schools and courts oppress Black students

While school districts all over the country grapple with how to best educate youth this upcoming academic year during a global pandemic, one Michigan teen sits in a juvenile detention center with no prospect of returning to in-person or remote learning anytime soon. The 15-year-old, identified only as Grace, has been in jail since May because she violated the terms of her probation by not completing her online coursework, according to a new report co-authored by ProPublica Illinois and the Detroit Free Press.

Grace, who is Black and has diagnosed ADHD, was on probation for fighting with her mom and stealing a cellphone from a classmate. After her school transitioned to remote learning on April 15, Grace said she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed by the work for her school, located in the predominantly white community of Beverly Hills, Mich.

That’s true of many students displaced from their schools, but, calling

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Teen jailed for missing online classwork shows how schools and courts oppress Black students

While school districts all over the country grapple with how to best educate youth this upcoming academic year during a global pandemic, one Michigan teen sits in a juvenile detention center with no prospect of returning to in-person or remote learning any time soon. The 15-year-old, only identified as Grace, has been in jail since May because she violated the terms of her probation by not completing her online coursework, according to a new report co-authored by ProPublica Illinois and The Detroit Free Press.

Grace, who is Black and has diagnosed ADHD, was on probation for fighting with her mom and stealing a cell phone from a classmate. After her school transitioned to remote learning on April 15, Grace said she felt unmotivated and overwhelmed by the work for her school, located in the predominantly white community of Beverly Hills, Michigan.

That’s true of many students displaced from their schools,

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Why international students may have Big Tech to thank for the US’s visa reversal

Sometimes, it helps to have friends in high places.

A coalition of powerful U.S. technology companies and trade organizations threw their support behind a legal challenge — launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to block the federal government from banning international students from attending online only classes on U.S. soil in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. And Big Tech’s involvement may have been a key factor behind the administration’s last minute about-face on Tuesday.

Revocation of the rule means that the U.S. Department of State may again issue visas to international students enrolled in U.S. schools for the fall semester. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection no longer has authority to deny those students entry to, or continued residence in, the country.

Yet the Trump administration’s aborted effort was noteworthy for the big guns that joined forces to block the move. A coalition

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Inside Stanford’s Efforts To Welcome MBA Students Back To Campus

As the COVID-19 case count and the death toll from the virus continues to surge in California, plans for the reopening of in-person classes at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business have become increasingly complicated and stubbornly challenging. Shifting state and county guidelines, still-to-be-unveiled university protocols along with the spread of the coronavirus itself have forced the business school to plan for not one but several scenarios this autumn’s forthcoming quarter.

For the core curriculum, the school plans to adopt a hybrid format that will mix in-person and online learning components for most courses. Some classes, however, will be entirely online. But in communicating its plans to both incoming and second-year MBA students, the school is warning all students that its ability to offer any in-person classwork is dependent on both state and county restrictions. “We are hopeful that these restrictions will ease before the quarter begins, but we also acknowledge, … Read More

Remote schooling leads to a ‘shocking’ disparity between rich and poor students

Low-income students have long faced challenges in completing their homework because they lacked internet access or a computer. And as the pandemic forces many school districts to continue with remote learning — either full- or part-time — in the fall, experts worry those same students risk falling further behind.

The early statistics aren’t encouraging.

At the end of March when lockdowns began in the U.S., the number of students from the lowest earning families who participated in online math classes per week plunged by 62%, while the decrease was less pronounced — down 21% — among students from the highest-earning households, according to a paper by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights group that analyzed data from Zearn, an education nonprofit that partners with schools to provide math programs.

That disparity wasn’t always the case.

“If you look at the past four years of Zearn data, high and low-income kids were participating

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Trump administration reverses new visa guidelines for international students

The Trump administration walked back a sudden policy change that would have potentially blocked hundreds of thousands of international students from remaining in or returning to the U.S. while pressuring universities to resume in-person classes in the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Following a week-long fight by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and more than a dozen state attorneys general, the government agreed on Tuesday to “rescind” a policy that would have affected international students who are attending institutions that have opted to go completely remote over the fall.

“For the hundreds of thousands of international students across this country who enrich our institutions and strengthen our communities — we celebrate this victory with you,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “This ICE rule was senseless and illegal the minute it came out, and the Trump Administration knew it didn’t have

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Loss of international students could damage US economy, experts say

The world of higher education, already struggling to cope amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was rocked last week when the Trump administration issued a regulation that would prevent international students from entering the country in addition to compelling thousands already in the U.S. to leave if enrolled in schools that plan to teach exclusively online in the fall.

“These students and their families have invested so much hope and money — in some cases, their families’ life savings — to get an American education,” Kavita Daiya, an associate professor of English at George Washington University, told ABC News. “By being here, they bring so much talent and knowledge to our communities. To force them to leave is to betray the promise of opportunity and fairness that undergirds American higher education.”

It could also cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs.

MORE: Harvard, MIT sue Trump administration

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4 things students should know about their health insurance and COVID-19 before heading to college this fall

<span class="caption">College students should weigh their health insurance options if they take in-person classes this fall.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/young-woman-consulting-with-her-doctor-royalty-free-image/1245097085?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Geber86/GettyImages">Geber86/GettyImages</a></span>
College students should weigh their health insurance options if they take in-person classes this fall. Geber86/GettyImages

As colleges and universities decide whether or not to reopen their campuses this fall, much of the discussion has focused on the ethics behind the decision and the associated health risks of in-person instruction.

As a researcher who studies health insurance policy, I see two important gaps in this discussion: 1) Who should pay the cost of treating the inevitable COVID-19 cases that will occur; and 2) What do college students need to know about their coverage?

Here are four things I think every college student – and those who care about them – should know about health insurance coverage when it comes to COVID-19.

1. Weigh coverage options

If you’re covered under a student health insurance plan through your school, it may be worth considering whether that is still your best option. The

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