portrait of Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon

Anne Dennon is a senior writer with BestColleges, covering higher education trends, policy, and student issues. She has an MA in English literature and a background in research strategy and service journalism.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill to survey students on the "ideological and political perspectives" encountered at public colleges. As you gear up to return to campus life, understand how complex issues related to campus sexual assault are regaining relevance. With a federal court weighing in on a university's authority to require COVID-19 vaccines, students argue the mandate violates Fourteenth Amendment rights. The Biden administration's "expansive interpretation" of Title IX to prosecute discrimination based on sexual orientation meets resistance from state Republicans. A federal judge suspends the DACA program, citing unconstitutionality of policy that impacts thousands of immigrant college students. General education requirements make up half of a bachelor's degree at most colleges. These courses build soft skills that hold real-world value for jobs. Nearly half of colleges plan on sending students out of the country this fall as U.S. study abroad programs reopen after COVID-19 shutdowns. Last fall's enrollment data shows sharp downturns among some student groups, but an increase in grad student enrollment. Forty-three percent of colleges report an increase in international applications over last year, a surge motivated by pent-up demand and shifting immigration policies. Biden proposes expanding the college grant program, as a bipartisan Senate bill looks to extend the program to cover short-term certificates. Virtual public hearings were held this week as Biden seeks to reverse Trump-era Title IX rules, which heightened reqs for due process in sexual assault cases. The Biden administration's proposed 2022 budget includes big plans to boost STEM departments at colleges that primarily serve students of color. Any college welcoming only fully vaccinated individuals for the fall term has been given the green light to return to full-capacity, in-person learning. Colleges already require vaccines, but COVID-19 vaccines are approved for emergency use only, thrusting the new mandates into a legal gray zone. As more colleges bring critical race theory into their core curricula, Republican leaders take steps to ban the theory from being taught in public classrooms. After temporarily dropping SAT/ACT requirements due to COVID-19, some schools, including the University of California, are making the changes permanent. Earlier COVID-19 emergency grants excluded undocumented and international college students. Now all students may be eligible for grants and other support. As part of a new outreach campaign, Ohio teens who've received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose can enter to win full-ride scholarships to in-state colleges. While college students have struggled with grades and mental health during COVID-19 learning disruptions, many want to retain the option to learn online. College students stand to benefit from Biden's new proposals, which include two years of free community college, more Pell Grant funding, and retention efforts. Even as campuses promise to reopen soon, college students continue to face increased anxiety from isolation, world events, and a loss of support networks. Learn what Biden's American Rescue Plan has in store for colleges, from money for schools' lost revenue to student grants for tuition, housing, and more. A new BestColleges.com survey finds that the American workforce values soft skills honed through experience, but jobs that build soft skills take degrees. Colleges across the U.S. have announced plans to return to in-person instruction this fall, but strict COVID-19 campus guidelines will remain in place. This year, college decision day is back to May 1. Last spring, more than 400 colleges pushed the national decision deadline to June or later due to COVID-19. COVID-19 is hurting Latino/a students' education gains. After decades of growth, fewer Latinos/as went to college this year, and fewer plan on going next year. As more colleges require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students coming to campus this fall, states claim emergency-use vaccines cannot be mandatory. Community colleges, which serve mostly low-income students at higher health and economic risk during the pandemic, report unprecedented enrollment drops. STEM fields are highly lucrative and in demand, but Black, brown, and female students face unique barriers to receiving a STEM education in college. Often taking 6-9 months, certificates are typically cheaper than traditional degrees and can launch careers in healthcare, administration, and IT. Google Career Certificates and other professional certificate programs aim to meet a growing demand for shorter, cheaper, career-focused education. In a new BestColleges survey, 95% of college students say COVID-19 has negatively impacted their mental health, which, in turn, has affected their education. Recent changes to provide more debt relief to defrauded students and students with disabilities suggest Biden may consider debt cancellation on a grand scale. Schools, organizations, and state governments all issue education credentials, but there are big differences between certificates, licenses, and certifications. After a year of campus shutdowns, 82% of college students say COVID-19 disrupted or impacted their education, according to a new BestColleges survey. The coronavirus vaccine is just around the corner, but many Americans — including one-third of college-aged adults — plan to hold off on getting vaccinated. Defrauded college graduates, mostly from for-profit colleges, now have a broader avenue to debt forgiveness under Biden's new education secretary. President Biden recently signed into law a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package, giving students and colleges more money and support. More college students are eligible for the latest round of stimulus checks, part of a $1.9 trillion plan that includes several perks for higher education. The hands-on training of trade schools is hard to accomplish online, but vocational skills continue to hold value on the new job market. College degree-holders are more likely to be able to work from home — a huge bonus on a shaky job market that's been otherwise punishing for college grads. The pandemic has exacerbated instances of food insecurity among college students, contributing to poor academic performance and mental health issues. Miguel Cardona, a longtime educator and Connecticut's education commissioner, was recently confirmed as education secretary, bringing the DeVos era to an end. Free college — already a reality in some European countries — is gaining traction among U.S. politicians. The current pandemic could push plans into action. Biden aims to quell the college affordability crisis but continues to resist pressure from Democrats to cancel $50,000 in student debt by executive order. Campus closures due to COVID-19 impact students' ability to succeed. With colleges closed, students and schools grapple with logistics and the digital divide. Young people voted in force in 2020, according to early voter data, due to factors such as college education, swing state urgency, and pandemic-related shifts. According to a national BestColleges survey, many Americans and most college students believe student loan debt should be canceled. President Biden unveils a $175 billion plan to reopen schools, prepares to forgive student loan debt, and rescinds a Trump-era policy on diversity training. Over 1,100 Columbia University students refuse to pay for the spring term until tuition, financial aid, campus police, and gentrification are addressed. One of the most controversial education secretaries who often sparred with Democratic policymakers and teachers, Betsy DeVos leaves behind a unique legacy. Rural students attend college at lower rates than their urban and suburban peers. The economic recession and cultural divide could widen the education gap. In response to COVID-19, the Department of Education announced it will suspend payments and waive interest on federal student loans until October 1, 2021. U.S. student debt has swelled to $1.7 trillion, but you can make college more affordable through a combination of grants, jobs, and other money-saving tricks. Homeschooling has grown more popular during the pandemic. Will students stay home even after schools reopen? Facing low enrollment and steep COVID-19 costs, colleges around the U.S. are freezing scores of undergraduate and graduate programs, many in the liberal arts. A double win for Georgia progressives means a Democratic-controlled government and a massive potential shakedown at the Department of Education. International student numbers declined dramatically at U.S. colleges this fall, spelling trouble for schools, the economy, and future international exchange. Democrats passed a large coronavirus relief bill offering extended loan deferral and up to $10k in loan forgiveness, but Republicans think it's too costly. Student evaluations show a bias against female professors, which hampers efforts to increase diversity among college faculty members. College students throughout the U.S. stand to be impacted by Georgia's Senate runoff elections, but Georgia college students could strongly sway the election. Many colleges offered tuition discounts in response to COVID-19, but a pricing model that relies heavily on discounts and loans fails to benefit all students. College-to-career bridge programs prepare graduates for the workplace by helping them develop in-demand job skills and forge industry connections. Research shows that schools don't significantly spread COVID-19, and that closures are harming students, particularly low-income, Black, and brown students. In January, once election results are finalized and the inauguration is complete, the majority of student borrowers could see their debt erased. Service learning unites classwork and community service, and reminds college students of their responsibilities as citizens and skilled professionals. California has voted to uphold its decades-old affirmative action ban, which prohibits discrimination and preferential treatment in college admissions. Female online students, who far outnumber their male peers, face more challenges than men in online education but continue to excel academically. President-elect Joe Biden has promised free college and debt forgiveness. Students could see new policies and relief funds as soon as January. College applicants are increasingly weighing schools' environmental practices, programs, and offerings before making an enrollment decision. Vice President-elect Harris brings her background as a student of color to her education policy, promising to fund Title I schools and minority-serving colleges. President-elect Joe Biden promises free community college to all, free four-year college to some, and improved student debt repayment plans. College students today are more passionate about the environment than ever. Discover the value of a green degree and learn how to chart a sustainable career. After several colleges made diversity coursework a graduation requirement, Trump now threatens to pull funding from schools teaching diversity and inclusion. COVID-19 has altered the college experience for students who returned to campus this term, leading to more stress and exacerbating students' mental health. When colleges provide contraception and abortion services to students, they promote women's educational success — but they also fuel a contentious debate. The college student mental health crisis has reached an inflection point in the era of COVID-19 as students struggle with increased isolation and financial anxiety. Even with financial aid, many college students are strapped for cash. Learn how to make money in college and why working now can help you earn more later on. Misinformation and fake news can't stand up to tried-and-true academic research methods. Learn how to search for and identify credible sources in college. Starting your career even one year early means earning dramatically more over your lifetime. But rushing through college isn't the right choice for everyone. The 2020 presidential candidates take opposing sides on most education issues, including K-12 funding, student loan debt, and reopening college campuses. College students who flout COVID-19 rules can be sent home, temporarily or permanently, and without refunds. Some suspended students' families plan to sue. More colleges now require students to take an ethnic studies course, but barriers like COVID-19 may decrease the number of students of color at these schools. Some states make registering to vote very tricky for college students away from home. Experts say blocking student votes can greatly impact election results. Wastewater tests, anonymous tracking apps, and easier testing methods help colleges stay open and test pilot COVID-19 solutions for the greater good. College students continue to sue for tuition refunds and petition for discounts as colleges struggle to enroll students and reopen campuses. Housed inside many U.S. universities, honors colleges challenge high-achieving students with rigorous classes and unique academic opportunities. The Federal Work-Study Program pays students for on- or off-campus work. The work experience could be more valuable than the average dollar amount awarded. Millennials and Gen Zers represent the largest share of eligible voters in 2020. But college-aged voters often face steep hurdles getting to the polls. For-profit colleges charge students more and leave more students in debt. Despite government scrutiny, these schools continue to profit through legal loopholes. COVID-19 has threatened students' college plans and altered the higher ed landscape. Now, new and returning students want mostly hybrid or online options. Many colleges will stay online this fall despite governmental pressure to reopen. While health and safety remain top priorities, vulnerable students may suffer. The education plans of a significant percentage of college-bound students languish over the summer. Low-income, first-generation students are most vulnerable. Many students flock to just a handful of popular majors, leading to crowded fields. A well-chosen major and minor can give you a competitive edge for jobs. Companies that recruit college students and recent graduates changed their hiring practices in response to COVID-19 — where and what you studied matters. More students of color are going to college, but graduation rates remain low. Many colleges fail to support and retain Black and Hispanic students. Over half of colleges plan to reopen for in-person instruction this fall, but living and learning on campus will look a lot different than it did pre-pandemic. Many community college students plan to transfer to a four-year college, but few succeed. Closing the transfer gap is critical to closing opportunity gaps. Staying competitive on the job market takes digital skills and soft skills ⁠— college teaches both. Degree-holders also often make more money in their careers. A college mentor can support students in their academic and professional pursuits, even virtually. Learn what a good mentor looks like and how to find one. These days, 9 in 10 new jobs require a college degree, but only about 60% of college students graduate. Higher education is a powerful but risky investment. First-generation college students face challenges applying to and graduating from college, but college prep and support can help narrow the opportunity gap. College campuses are political hot spots. Students are more political — and more politically divided — than ever, but together push for progressive reforms. Pressed by protests, some colleges are responding to student activists calls to cut ties with police and better foster the success of students of color. Political science teaches high-value skills in research, communication, and analysis that can be applied to jobs in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Education Sec. Betsey DeVos rewrote Obama-era Title IX guidelines for handling sexual harassment on campus to reduce the number of cases. The CARES Act includes $14 billion for higher education. Half of the money goes to student financial aid, but some needy students are not eligible. College expenses mean education doesn't pay off for everyone, but most degree-holders earn more over their lifetimes. Your major plays a big role. Healthcare education is changing rapidly due to COVID-19. As medical students spend their time volunteering, classes go online and telemedicine picks up steam. Coronavirus has highlighted the heroic efforts of front-line healthcare workers. Prospective healthcare students can expect jobs in this field to grow over the next decade. College students petition and sue schools for tuition refunds, saying online edu during COVID-19 should cost less. Colleges are hurting financially, too. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a deepening digital divide among American college students, particularly underserved students who lack stable internet access. Trade schools can be a direct route to job stability, high salary potential, and personal fulfillment in your career. Learn more about the importance of trades in today's economy. Colleges and students want campuses to reopen, but the threat of a coronavirus resurgence means changing the school year and keeping some education online. These top 15 podcasts for college students combine vibrant storytelling with insights on student life, real-world issues, and money. Free online courses are available during the coronavirus shutdown from some of the world's top universities. Discover the most popular courses out there. During an economic downturn, college students can improve job prospects by strengthening soft skills and learning new technologies.