Brown U Replaces Loans With Scholarships

Having achieved its initial fundraising goal of $30 million, the university will replace loans with scholarship funds in financial aid packages for all returning and incoming undergraduate students starting in the 2018-19 academic year.

Cornell U Launches Food Security Grocery Store

Based on results of a Cornell University survey indicating a high percentage of students were regularly without access to food, the Center for Transformative Action launched Anabel's Grocery to provide nutritious, affordable food that includes low-priced meals, daily meal kits and fresh staples. The store is student-led and has served over 1,000 students in the first semester of operations. The store also offers educational programs around quality food, food choices, wellness and positive social change.

American College Greece Begins Scholarship Program for Refugees

(Greece) Called Education Unites: From Camp to Campus, the goal of the new program is to give displaced students the opportunity to continue their education, provide them with knowledge, skills and academic credits they can use either in Greece or in any other European country they move to, and help them get out of the camps and become integrated in local colleges.

Western Kentucky U Regents Approve Five-Year Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Plan

The new plan focuses on opportunity through the recruitment and enrollment of diverse students; student success through retention, graduation rate and degrees conferred; and impact through campus climate, inclusiveness and cultural competency.

Princeton U Files Lawsuit Regarding DACA

In early November, Princeton University and Microsoft joined together to file a lawsuit against President Trump’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A DACA-protected student at Princeton, Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, is also listed as a plaintiff.

Blackburn College to Meet 100% of Student Financial Need

The Blackburn Promise is a new program that meets the full amount of each individual student's financial need after they have paid their estimated family contribution as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Direct college costs covered by the Blackburn Promise financial aid package include tuition, fees, room and board.

HEI Presidents Urge Congress to Pass Legislation Protecting Dreamers

Nearly 800 college and university presidents and chancellors signed onto the letter sent to U.S. Senate and House leaders, urging Congress to pass legislation as soon as possible to permanently protect Dreamers. Citing widespread public support, the letter argues that individuals covered under DACA have made valuable contributions to US economy and security and should continue to be able to do so.

Ohio State U to Cover Full Tuition for Qualified Students

In an effort to increase affordability for in-state students, the university will ensure that all in-state students who qualify for Pell Grants receive an aid package that covers the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.

North Carolina State U Introduces Professional Clothes Exchange

Through the Wolfpack Styled clothing reuse program, the university’s Career Development Center connects students with free professional clothes while also reducing textile waste. Student interns and volunteers organize and sort donations, which have come from faculty, staff, alumni and a local, alumni-owned consignment store.

Pomona College Provides Students With Free Access to Reusable Menstrual Care Products

The college has partnered with Diva International Inc. to provide its students with free access to a reusable, eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads known as The Diva Cup.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Expands Food Pantry to Include Perishable Food

The Carolina Cupboard reopened in September in a new space that is three times larger, adding refrigerators and freezers that allow it to offer perishable food. With this expansion, the pantry has also joined a partnership with Carolina Closet, providing professional clothes to students.

Saint Anselm College Hires First Chief Diversity Officer

The college recently hired Ande Diaz, Ph.D., to lead its diversity efforts. Coming from Princeton University as an assistant dean for Multicultural Affairs for seven years, Dr. Diaz is responsible for increasing diversity and inclusivity in the campus community.

U California System Takes Legal Action in Defense of DACA

The University of California System has filed suit in federal court against the Trump administration for its recent decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country without fear of deportation. Approximately a quarter of the country’s 800,000 DACA individuals, commonly known as DREAMers, live in California. Of those, roughly 4,000 are enrolled in the University of California System.

INSIGHT Into Diversity Acknowledges 2017 HEED Award Recipients

This year's Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award was given to 80 higher education institutions, 15 of which were categorized as Diversity Champions by exemplifying an unyielding commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout their campus communities, across academic programs, and at the highest administrative levels.

New Senate Bill Addresses Access for Homeless Students

A recently announced senate bill directs colleges and universities to publicize financial aid and resources available for those students and to set up a single point of contact on campus to help them find and obtain assistance. It also attempts to streamline the verification process to determine that a student is independent.

AthleteAlly Releases Report on LGBTQ Inclusion Policies & Practices in NCAA

The Athletic Equality Index inaugural report, measuring LGBTQ inclusion policies and practices in athletic spaces, provides a comprehensive look at how member programs of the NCAA Power Five conferences are supporting their LGBTQ student-athletes, coaches, administrators, staff and fans.

Higher Education Leaders Criticize DACA Repeal

Many college and university leaders have spoken out against the Trump Administration’s announcement that it would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a federal program that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children to remain in the U.S.

Campus Pride Releases Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly List

Campus Pride chose the 25 campuses from 16 states based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures. The Campus Pride Index, which currently includes 300+ campuses, is a national benchmarking tool that self-assesses LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices.

Binghamton U Commits to Advance Workplace Diversity & Inclusion

By signing on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion commitment, Binghamton pledges to take action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, and where employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion. The more than 290 signatories will convene at a summit in November to discuss longer-term growth strategies that will advance the agenda.

U Virginia Students Mobilize Against Hate

In repudiation of hate and bigotry, thousands of University of Virginia and Charlottesville community members retraced the steps that neo-Nazi and white supremacist protesters took on Aug. 11. The crowd displayed a message of solidarity as they chanted, sang hymns and held a moment of silence for those that lost their lives.

U Texas Austin Removes Three Confederate Monuments

After protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent in mid-August, the university’s president said in a letter to the campus' community “that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism." After speaking with the campus community, the president decided to remove and relocate three Confederate statues on campus, indicating the statues "represent the subjugation of African Americans" and are not in alignment with the university's core values.

U Virginia Student Council Releases Statement in Response to Charlotteville Incident

After the recent protests that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, the University of Virginia Student Council released a statement condemning the violent actions that took place, and communicated its resolve to speak out against hatred and create an environment where all feel safe and welcomed.

Texas A&M U Cancels Speaker Event Over Safety Concerns

After consultation with law enforcement, the university has cancelled an on-campus event scheduled for September by Preston Wiginton, a Texas-based white nationalist. Wiginton linked the events of Charlottesville, Virginia, with his planned protest, which raised concerns about the safety of the university's students, faculty, staff and the public.

Duke U Removes Robert E. Lee Statue

After recent vandalization of a statue of Robert E. Lee at the entrance to the university's chapel, Duke University president recently authorized its removal after conferring with students, faculty, staff and alumni. The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke’s complex past and take part in a more inclusive future. The president also announced that a commission will be assembled to understand how best to memorialize individuals on campus and recommend principles drawn from Duke’s core values as a guide when questions arise.

AAC&U Selects Ten Institutions as Sites for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the ten institutions selected to serve as sites for the first Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Centers. The TRHT Campus Centers are part of a multi-year initiative to educate, prepare and inspire the next generation to advance justice and build equitable communities. Selected through a competitive process, the institutions are: Austin Community College; Brown University; Duke University; Hamline University; Millsaps College; Rutgers University-Newark; Spelman College; The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina; University of Hawai’i at Mānoa; and University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Rhode Island to Offer Free Community College

The state's lawmakers passed the state budget proposal recently, which included $2.8 million to fund the free tuition program for one year. Graduating high school seniors who maintain a 2.5 GPA and go to school full-time will be eligible, regardless of income. Rhode Island joins three other states – New York, Tennessee and Oregon – that have approved plans to make community college free.

Eastern Kentucky U Creates Scholarship With Solar Savings

The Photons for the Future scholarship program uses the monetary savings generated by 25 solar panels on campus to provide $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in scientific fields. A donation helped pay for the solar panels and provide scholarship seed funding.

NC BOG Attempts to Ban Students From Practicing Litigation in Law School

The North Carolina Board of Governors has proposed a ban on litigation efforts by the UNC Center for Civil Rights at the law school of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which takes on legal cases of school desegregation, fair housing and environmental justice for poor and minority clients. Several board members want to prohibit the center from filing legal claims and lawsuits, saying it is inappropriate for the center to represent clients in court against other government entities. Some UNC and N.C. Central University law school leaders say barring the centers and clinics from engaging in legal action would effectively end those student training opportunities, potentially leading to questions from the American Bar Association.

U Wisconsin Madison Meets Student Needs With Food Hub

The UW Campus Food Shed is a new program that gives students and faculty access to free vegetables and produce, stocked by university agriculture researchers and local farms with excess crops. Many of these excess crops would otherwise be composted or thrown out.

U North Carolina Chapel Hill Wins $1M Prize for Commitment to Equity

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently awarded the university the 2017 Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence, an honor that bestows a $1 million gift. The Cook Prize recognizes achievement in enrolling low-income students and supporting them through graduation. The university will match the foundation’s award through private funding, and will use the $2 million to support efforts that benefit low-income students.

U Michigan to Roll Out Tuition-Free Program

The new financial aid program for in-state students offers a guarantee of free tuition for up to four years for students with family income of up to $65,000, which is roughly equal to the state's median family income. Recently approved by the university's Board of Regents, the new program will launch in January 2018.

U Virginia to Commemorate Slaves Who Built Campus

The university is planning to build a large memorial to commemorate the contributions of an estimated 5,000 enslaved people who helped build and maintain the school. With recent Board of Visitor approval, private fundraising for the project will begin immediately. This project is part of the UVA's President’s Commission on Slavery and the University.

City of Boston Announces Tuition-Free College Program

Massachusetts' Republican governor and the Democratic Mayor of Boston recently launched a new college affordability program for high school graduates in the city. The aim is to allow eligible students to complete four-year degrees without paying tuition or mandatory fees. The program, open to 2017 high school graduates who live in the city, will cover students' tuition and fees.

U Colorado Boulder Creates 'Social Justice Living Environment' in Dorm

In fall 2018, the Social Justice Living Environment will house communities for students who identify as black, LGBTQ and those passionate about diversity. The new program stemmed from student concerns following a campus climate survey revealing only a quarter of African-American undergraduates and less than half of undergraduates, in general, felt welcome on campus.

Central Carolina CC Receives $199K to Expand Sustainable Tech Curriculum

The community college has been awarded a $199,612 grant from the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education Small Grant program. The goal of the project, which includes recruitment from underrepresented populations, is to provide technician skills, competencies and hands-on experiences needed for employment in the fields of energy-efficiency verification and building performance analysis.

Minnesota Two-Year Schools Receive $1M for College Readiness Program

A 2016 report from Minnesota's Office of Higher Education found 26 percent of Minnesota high school graduates enrolled in at least one developmental course when they got to college. The new $1 million donation will create the Summer Scholars Academy, a program aimed at closing the opportunity gap in underserved communities by offering new students tutoring in math, reading, writing and study skills during the summer months before the fall semester. Officials hope improving college readiness will result in higher graduation rates for students of color.

Chemeketa CC Opens Press to Reduce Burden of Textbook Cost

The community college recently started a publishing peer-reviewed textbooks with original content authored by the college’s faculty in an effort to reduce the financial burden to students. In addition to savings, the Chemeketa Press supports collaboration and professional development across the university. The Chemeketa Press published 13 titles in 2016, with over 20 new titles planned to be released for fall 2017.

Portland CC Helps Students Save $1M in Textbook Costs

In response to the skyrocketing cost of textbooks, the community college's staff, faculty and students came together to establish an open educational resources (OER) program that has reduced the cost of books, saving students $1 million since the program began in 2015. Open educational resources involve open textbooks, which are texts released under flexible copyright licenses, such as Creative Commons, that facilitate copying, printing and adapting at no cost. They are often written by scholars and published by grant-funded projects or universities.

Brown U to Waive Application Fee for Low-Income Students

Beginning with prospective undergraduates who apply for admission to the class entering in fall 2018, the university will automatically waive the application fee for any high school student eligible for free and reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program, as well as students enrolled in federal, state or local programs that aid students from low-income families. This achievement comes after a coalition of undergraduate student governments and first-generation, low-income student groups advocated for waived fees for first-generation and low-income applicants.

Columbia U Partners with HBCUs in Scholarship Program

In an effort to combat the lack of diversity in the professional workforce, beginning summer 2017, Columbia University will admit two students from each of the top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as ranked by The Wall Street Journal, through a university scholarship program with a $100,000 value. The chosen students can earn a one-year master’s degree, receive access to industry mentors, career coaches and Columbia’s alumni network, followed by a paid summer internship and the possibility of a job offer from one of the program’s 11 Fortune 500 partners.

U West Florida Establishes Need-Based Scholarships for Immigrants

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the university will receive more than $3 million to establish an endowment for need-based scholarships with preference given to immigrants and refugees.

Clarion U Designates All-Gender Restrooms

Anyone wanting privacy can now choose from several facilities across campus after the university selected 11 buildings with one-stall restrooms and converted them to all-gender facilities. The restroom facilities needed only locks and signage, making the cost to convert minimal.

Southeast Missouri State U Opens Food Pantry

The new Redhawk Food Pantry provides non-perishable food items, hygiene products and school supplies to university students and employees in need. The food pantry provides supplemental support for members of the campus community who struggle with food insecurity, encourages an educational understanding of food insecurity, and provides a space for students to volunteer with their peers.

Santa Fe CC Faculty Vote to Unionize

A recent vote yielded a 93 percent to seven percent ratio in favor of unionizing, which means that 50 full-time faculty at the college will now be represented by an American Association of University Professors chapter. The collective bargaining agreement will establish clear policies for faculty employment, and it will create a set of standards that holds everyone accountable.

U Michigan Launches Three Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

As part of its ongoing strategic efforts to enhance diversity in higher education and society, the university's National Center for Institutional Diversity is starting the Distinguished Diversity and Social Transformation Professorship, Grants to Support Research and Scholarship for Change, and the Distinguished Diversity Scholar Career Award and initiatives. Through these initiatives, the center is actively working to highlight the interconnections of diversity and excellence in research and scholarship in ways that positively affect knowledge production and its use for societal change.

Northland College Pledges to be Sanctuary for Undocumented Students

In a letter dated March 2, the college's president cites a rising national rhetoric of intolerance and acts of hate that threaten minorities as a basis for affirming Northland’s intention to support all students in their quest to pursue their education without government interference. Unless it is legally required to do so, the college will not voluntarily share student information with or grant property access to immigration enforcement officials, nor participate in the enforcement actions of immigration officials on campus.

Johns Hopkins U Commits $55.5M to Locally Owned Businesses

The university and the Johns Hopkins Health System hired 304 workers from Baltimore's distressed neighborhoods and campus-area communities and committed $55.5 million of construction project spending with minority- and women-owned or disadvantaged businesses in the first year of their HopkinsLocal initiative, an effort to use the university's purchasing and hiring power to help expand opportunities for those living in city neighborhoods.

Four Community Colleges Get National Recognition for Advancing Diversity

Hillsborough Community College, Lee College, Oklahoma City Community College and Seminole State College of Florida were named as finalists in the 2017 Awards of Excellence by ​the American Association of Community Colleges in the category of Advancing Diversity.

Brown U Releases Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Report

One year after launching Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University, a new report focuses attention on the university’s successes in building a foundation for sustained, long-term success toward achieving the action plan’s goals, such as the development of department-level diversity and inclusion action plans by every academic and administrative unit. In year one, the annual report explains, Brown focused primarily on the development of policies, infrastructures, mechanisms, resources and pilot programs that create a sustainable path to the plan’s future success.

Niagara College Launches Diversity and Social Justice Center

The university announced its plans to launch a new on-campus center that aims to foster and grow the institution's commitment to diversity and social justice. Among other goals, the center will support faculty and student research, organize events, provide professional development, and serve as a community resource and expand community engagement.