Pennsylvania State U Launches Student Emergency Fund

The university recently announced that all new contributions to its Student Care & Advocacy Emergency Fund will be used for those who are challenged to afford housing, transportation, basic needs and access to required resources for remote learning, or who are facing other unforeseen personal difficulties as a result of the new coronavirus outbreak.

Western Carolina U Makes Emergency Funds Available to Students

University administrators are currently urging students who are suffering extreme financial distress because of displacement caused by the coronavirus to apply for financial assistance from the university’s Student Emergency Fund. The funds may be used for rent, utilities, car repairs, medical and dental expenses, gas and other unexpected financial emergencies, but not university-related expenses.

Georgia Tech Announces COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Students

The new fund has been established to support students who have a demonstrated financial need related to the COVID-19 crisis and campus closures. Funding is available to all enrolled Georgia Tech students and can be used to alleviate financial challenges, including travel assistance, housing assistance, medical expenses, moving costs, financial support, and food insecurity.

Emerson College Eco Ambassadors Launch Thrift Store Pop Up

In an effort to raise awareness for the college's clothing exchange store, now the Tiny Thrift Store puts on a pop-up once per month. The store and pop-up give students a chance to donate, exchange and/or pick-up clothing free of charge.

U Southern California Offers Free Tuition Based on Family Income

Students from the United States from families with annual incomes of $80,000 or less will be eligible for the full undergraduate tuition waiver starting in the fall. Additionally, owning a home will no longer be considered in the calculation used to determine a student’s financial need.

Bowie State U Opens Nutrition Lounge & Food Pantry

In partnership with Food Lion Feeds' hunger relief initiative, the university opened a new on-campus nutrition lounge that provides a place for students to relax, study and have a place to access and enjoy free, healthy foods.

Illinois State U Elevates Diversity & Inclusion

The university's president recently announced the creation of a new position to move diversity initiatives forward on campus, naming Professor Doris Houston as the interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion. Houston currently serves as chair of the President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.

Thirteen Institutions Become 'Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers'

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) selected 13 institutions as Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Centers. Organized around the five pillars of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation framework by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation—narrative change, separation, law, economy, and racial healing and relationship building—the centers seek to prepare the next generation of leaders to confront racism and to dismantle the belief in a hierarchy of human value.

ACE Produces Series on Race in Higher Ed

The Let’s Talk About Race interview series captures the voices of prominent higher education scholars and leaders as they share their perspectives and experiences on race and ethnicity in higher education.

Three Universities Form Racial Justice Consortium

As the Charlotte Racial Justice Consortium, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University and Queens University of Charlotte will collaborate to understand their history of race and racism, and develop student, university and community leaders who work across the region toward truth, racial healing and equity. The effort is supported by the consortium’s selection as a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center by the American Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U).

Syracuse U Announces New Initiatives on Racial Equity

The university recently announced several new actions to advance diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. The new actions include allocating space for multicultural students, working with Native American students to determine how to recognize the university's presence on ancestral Onondaga lands, conducting a security assessment of Hillel, launching a fund aimed at competitive recruitment of faculty from underrepresented minority groups, and allocating $5.6 million for diversity and inclusion initiatives, with 16 new staff members added to work on new and improved diversity programming.

Brandeis U Includes Caste in Non-Discrimination Policy

Discrimination based on caste, a system of inherited social class, is now expressly prohibited at the university, just as discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, religious creed, gender identity and expression, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, genetic information, disability, military or veteran status, or any other category protected by law is prohibited.

Lumina Foundation Grants American Indian College Fund $650K

The recently announced grant will be used to examine the barriers affecting Native American students' higher education success. Under the grant, the American Indian College Fund will establish a two-part and 30-month project aimed at analyzing completion rates under factors such as the rising cost of college and high rates of poverty among American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Additionally, the research will focus on the sustainability of tribal colleges and universities, both academically and financially.

U Florida Opens Institutes of Black & Hispanic-Latino Cultures

The facility for each is a gathering place for people of the respective culture to uniquely express their history, culture and social activism.

Two Universities Join Consortium to Study Slavery

The University of Georgia and the University of Nottingham (U.K.) recently joined the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium. Universities Studying Slavery (USS) is dedicated to organizing multi-institutional collaboration to facilitate mutual support in the pursuit of common goals around the core theme of universities studying slavery.

Haverford College Launches Student Loan Debt Relief Program

The Student Loan Debt Relief Program is designed to assist graduates for whom $4,000 to $12,000 in student debt would be a burden, particularly those pursuing careers of high societal value and low remuneration. The Class of 2019 was the first that was eligible to apply for its debt relief. Twelve awards were given, ranging from $900 to $1500 per applicant.

CUNY Announces $1M Food Insecurity Pilot Program

Through this new program, eligible students can receive $400 vouchers to use for any food item in campus cafeterias. To qualify, students must be enrolled at a CUNY community college for at least nine credits, live in the five boroughs, be working towards their first college degree, show significant financial need, and not currently receiving SNAP benefits.

U Georgia SGA Opens Professional Clothing Shop

After two years of student-led planning, the Student Government Association Professional Clothing Closet recently opened. The Professional Clothing Closet provides professional attire to students at no cost and on short notice. Students may keep the clothing for future use.

Marymount Manhattan College Launches Social Justice Ambassadors Program

The new Social Justice Ambassador Program is a five-session program that invites participants from different backgrounds and experiences to come together to assess the ways societal structures perpetuate privilege and oppression through institutions and individuals. At the end of the program, ambassadors present in groups on what they have learned.

Princeton Theological Seminary Addresses Ties to Slavery

A year-long historical audit uncovered that, while the seminary did not own slaves and its buildings were not constructed with slave labor, it benefited from the slave economy. Therefore, the religious college's board of trustees unanimously endorsed a series of new initiatives, ranging from increased student financial assistance to curriculum changes to added support for the Center for Black Church Studies. To support the more than 20 approved initiatives in perpetuity, $27.6 million will be reserved in the endowment.

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Harvard U in Affirmative Action Lawsuit

The U.S. district-court judge ruled at the beginning of October that Harvard's race-conscious admissions process is legal. The university's admissions practices were on trial after the plaintiffs accused Harvard of favoring black and Hispanic applicants at the expense of Asian American applicants.

Brown U Removes GRE Requirement for 24 PhD Programs

The university will no longer require Graduate Records Examination (GRE) test scores for admission to 24 of its Ph.D. programs, beginning with applications for the 2020-21 academic year. The university hopes this will remove barriers that can reduce applications from students who are historically underrepresented in higher education and from low-income backgrounds.

Princeton U Drops GRE for 14 Graduate Programs

In an effort to diversify the faculty pipeline and enroll a diverse pool of graduate students, 14 Princeton University departments will no longer require the GRE test for graduate admission, making it optional for graduate applicants.

George Mason U Receives $250,000 to Increase Access

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently announced a $250,000 award to support ADVANCE and the Early Identification Program (EIP)—two programs designed to give educational access to diverse student populations. The ADVANCE program, the university's partnership with Northern Virginia Community College, will receive $150,000 in scholarships to help alleviate financial burdens for high-achieving students in financial need. EIP will receive $100,000, enabling more first generations students to attend the university's Honors College.

George Mason U to Erect Memorial for Enslaved People

In 2021, the university will erect a memorial that honors more than 100 people enslaved by George Mason. When the memorial opens, it will contain several markers, including a bronze statue of George Mason and silhouettes of two specific enslaved people, as well as an inscription with the names of the men, women and children whom Mason enslaved.

U Texas Rio Grande Unveils Free Tuition Program

The university recently announced the new tuition program, Tuition Advantage, that begins in fall 2020 and will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying students who have an adjusted gross family income of $75,000 or less.

Hiram College Lowers Tuition, Offers Free Summer Courses

The college has announced a new tuition model that reduces tuition and fees by 35 percent; lets students take up to two free summer courses each year; and increases the number of paid internships available to students.

Virginia Theological Seminary Designates $1.7M for Reparations Fund

Recognizing that enslaved persons worked on the campus, and that even after slavery ended, VTS participated in segregation, the seminary recently announced that it will create an endowment fund from which the income will fund reparations. The income from the endowment will be allocated annually in conversation with key stakeholders for designated purposes.

U Arizona Announces Pell Pledge Grant

Beginning with the fall 2020 semester, all Arizona-resident, Pell-eligible freshmen attending the main campus will have the full cost of their tuition covered for four years.

Stanford U Pilots Food Program to Help Food Insecure Students

In a trial collaboration with Stanford’s Residential & Dining Enterprises and the Graduate Student Council, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley will deliver food to Stanford’s campus on three pilot dates.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Hires First DEI Vice Chancellor

Dr. Sean Garrick, formerly the associate vice provost in the Office for Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota, has become UIUC's first vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion. At Minnesota, Dr. Garrick lead efforts to engage faculty whose scholarship focused on diverse, underrepresented or marginalized populations. He is also a professor of mechanical engineering.

U California Berkeley Observes 400th Anniversary of Slavery With Year-Long Focus

The 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies will be observed at the university through educational programming in the fall and spring semesters. Berkeley’s commemoration is in the spirit of “The 400 Years of African American History Commission Act,” federal legislation signed last year that called for a national commission to commemorate the anniversary of the forced arrival of Africans in the English colonies in 1619.

U London Signs 'Social Mobility Pledge'

(U.K.) The Social Mobility Pledge is a campaign to improve social mobility in the U.K. In signing the pledge, the university commits to provide coaching to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances; provide structured work experience and/or apprenticeship opportunities; and adopt employee recruitment practices that promote a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

College Charleston Introduces Diversity Docuseries

A committee of faculty and staff are introducing a new documentary project titled “If These Walls Could Talk” as part of diversity training on campus. Birthed from a campus diversity workshop held in fall 2018, the documentary centers on how enslaved Africans contributed to the construction of college buildings and surrounding sites.

U Glasgow & U West Indies Partner on Slavery Education

(U.K. & Jamaica) A memorandum of understanding was signed after a Report into Historical Slavery at the University of Glasgow was released in September 2018 that recommended the two universities collaborate. The report acknowledged that while the University of Glasgow played a leading role in the abolitionist movement in the 18th and 19th centuries, the institution also received significant financial support from people whose wealth was derived, in part, from slavery. The two universities have agreed to establish the Glasgow-Caribbean Center for Development Research, which will help to raise public awareness about the history of slavery and its impact around the world.

College William & Mary Receives Grant to Research School's Slave-Holding History

The Mellon Foundation recently gave the university a $1 million grant to research the school’s slave-holding history. Known as the Sharing Authority to Remember and Re-Interpret the Past, this initiative is a joint partnership of community-led research into the legacies of slavery at the school and James Monroe’s Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is a division of the university. The researchers are working to identify the slaves who built and maintained the main campus as well as their descendants. Part of what is uncovered will be incorporated into a memorial for enslaved African-Americans.

U Georgia to Study Its History of Early Slavery

The school allocated $100,000 in private discretionary funds from the Office of the President to sponsor research into the role of slavery between the university's founding in 1785 until the end of the Civil War in 1865. The goal of the project is to develop a definitive history on the role slavery played during the university's early years.

U South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Appoints DEI Officer

Corey L. Posey was recently appointed to the to the newly created position of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the university and began his duties on July 8. Posey has spent 19 years in higher education, most recently as director of the Office of Student Life at Chesapeake College.

U Texas Austin Expands Tuition Assistance

The Board of Regents recently voted to establish a $160 million endowment that will be used to expand the university's Texas Advance Commitment program for in-state undergraduate students. Students of families earning up to $65,000 will have all tuition and fees covered by new endowment. Students of families with incomes up to $125,000 will have some assured tuition support.

Rutgers U Announces Endowment to Help Neediest Students

Beginning in academic year 2020-21, the university will begin efforts to raise a $3 million endowment to support the Scarlet Promise Grants, formerly called Rutgers Assistance Grants, in perpetuity. The renewed focus on this grant program grew out of two task forces commissioned by Rutgers’ board of trustees – the Task Force on Student Aid and the Task Force on Philanthropy. The student aid task force found that a growing number of students are unable to complete their degrees because of limited resources, while others can graduate but leave college saddled with significant debt.

Augusta U Appoints Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Tiffany G. Townsend has been named chief diversity officer effective Sept. 1. Townsend previously served as the senior director of the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs at the American Psychological Association. Prior to that, she served as chair of community liaison/outreach in the Center for Trauma and the Community and adjunct associate professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Rice U Forms University Task Force on Racial Injustice

University president David W. Leebron and provost Marie Lynn Miranda recently announced the creation of a Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice that will begin in the fall semester. The group is charged with discovering, documenting, acknowledging and disseminating Rice’s past with respect to slavery, segregation, and racial injustice; developing campus-wide programming to support discussion on this topic; and identifying suggestions for the furthering a diverse and inclusive university.

Emory U Names Chief Diversity Officer

The university has named Carol E. Henderson vice provost for diversity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and advisor to the president. Henderson will join Emory from the University of Delaware, where she is currently still serving as vice provost for diversity. Henderson will partner with the campus community to re-imagine and strengthen comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the university and create mechanisms for communicating the institution’s commitment to these principles and practices. She will assume her new role at Emory on August 1.

U Illinois Chicago to Offers In-State Tuition for Native Americans

Beginning this fall, the university will offer in-state tuition to students who are members of any of the 573 tribal nations recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rather than being charged the base non-resident tuition of $23,800, the eligible students will be charged $10,584 as a base tuition before federal Pell grants as well as any other aid they may have received. Eligible students will still have to meet all of UIC’s admission standards, including test scores and grade point averages.

Georgetown U Opens Student Equity & Inclusion Office

The university recently announced the creation of the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion. The office aims to improve resources for first-generation and minority students on campus. Dr. Adanna Johnson, currently the senior associate dean of students and director of Diversity, Equity and Student Success, will lead the office as associate vice president.

80 Institutions Recognized for Advancing First-Gen Student Success

The Center for First Generation Student Success recently recognized 80 higher education institutions as the inaugural First Forward cohort. First Forward institutions are selected for their demonstrated commitment to advancing first-generation student success. The institutions will share evidence-based practices and resources, troubleshoot challenges, generate knowledge, and continue to advance the success of first-generation students across the U.S. The Center for First Generation Student Success is an initiative of NASPA and the Suder Foundation.

Furman U Approves Slavery & Justice Committee Actions

Approved at the university's board of trustees May meeting were a number of recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, including erecting a statue and creating day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student. Furman is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery consortium headquartered at the University of Virginia, along with 10 other universities.

Bladen CC Opens Food Bank

The community college's new faculty-run food bank, the Eagle’s Nest Food Bank, supplies food to food insecure students.

U Oxford Unveils Initiatives for Underrepresented Backgrounds

(U.K.) Two new programs that expand access to academically talented students from underrepresented groups were recently announced. Opportunity Oxford is aimed at students from more disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, while Foundation Oxford is open to students who have personally experienced severe disadvantage or educational disruption. Both schemes are free and students’ residential and living costs will be fully funded. When fully up and running, these major new programs will offer paths to education for up to 250 state school students a year, representing 10 percent of Oxford’s U.K. undergraduate intake.