Free speech has been at the center of several big pieces of higher education news: A Gallup poll reveals a majority of students believe they can express unpopular opinions in their college classes. The study found this percentage was higher in male students (68%) than female students (58%).

Meanwhile, the University of Alabama's law school returned millions in donated money from a man who has spoken out against Alabama politics, raising questions about donor influence and unilateral politics in higher education.

The Daily Targum, the student newspaper at Rutgers, has sparked debate about student fees, funding, and free speech after failing to pass a student referendum that would have contributed $540,000 to the paper's budget for the coming academic year.

Other news in higher education:

Workers Move Out of Big Cities

A new study from Eduardo Porter and Guilbert Gates at The New York Times shows that workers, especially those without college degrees, are actually moving out of big cities, revealing a disparity in opportunity in these places. Check out BestColleges's guide to finding jobs outside the big city.


Adjunct Faculty Vote to Unionize at Occidental and Mercy

Inside Higher Ed reports that adjuncts at two colleges, Occidental and Mercy, have voted to unionize, a movement the dean has agreed to honor.


Graduate Schools the Biggest Offenders in Student Debt Crisis

Graduate schools in fields promising lucrative careers are some of the most egregiously expensive programs, asking students to rack up six figures in loans to acquire a master's degree, according to The New York Times.


The ED Announces Plans to Expand Access to Higher Ed

The U.S. Department of Education announced new trial runs for several programs designed to expand access to higher education, including Pell Grants for incarcerated students and reduced barriers for work-study positions in the private sector.


The College Board Adds "Adversity Score" to the SAT

The College Board has introduced an additional dimension to the SAT, an adversity score, which they argue will more clearly demonstrate how students are affected by privilege (or lack thereof) in an attempt to make college admissions more equitable.


Wealthy Students Have Unfair Advantage on Standardized Tests

After the admissions scandal rocked higher education in March, the Wall Street Journal reports wealthier students are afforded more opportunities for extra testing time on standardized exams.


Forbes Writer Criticizes Notion That College Isn't for Everyone

At Forbes, Colin Seale writes an op-ed about the dismissiveness of the phrase "college isn't for everyone," especially as it applies to increased earning potential for minority populations.


CEO of the College Board Calls on Colleges to Improve Student Experience

We need to focus on improving the student experience in college, says David Coleman in response to a study that says only 3% of college students report having positive transformative experiences.


Schools Don't Give Nontraditional Students Resources They Need

The Hechinger Report analyzes spending patterns at universities that target nontraditional students, finding that though they apportion their budgets to recruiting these learners, they don't support them once enrolled with the resources they need to succeed.


Washington State Moves to Eliminate Tuition for Low-Income Students

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington signed into law a bill that reduces or eliminates tuition for low-income students through scholarships funded by a higher tax on businesses in the state. Ashley A. Smith at Inside Higher Ed breaks down how the policy works.


Scholarships Taxed at Same Rate as Wealthy Estates

The 2017 federal tax reform included a provision which taxes college students who receive scholarships at the same rate as wealthy estate owners, according to a report by Inside Higher Ed. Lawmakers are pushing for an amendment to reverse this change.


Schools Pressure Sexual Assault to Reveal Identities

The New York Times reports schools are demanding that students suing for sexual assault charges reveal their identities, going against a longstanding policy of anonymity in such court proceedings.


Yale Women File Lawsuit Due to Gender Discrimination and Harassment

Students at Yale have filed a class-action lawsuit against the university on behalf of all women students involving allegations of gender discrimination and a pervasive environment of sexual harrassment stemming from fratertnity culture on campus.


University of Oklahoma Admits to Falsifying Data in U.S News Rankings

CNN reports that the University of Oklahoma lied about the percentage of alumni that donate, providing false data since 1999. These numbers artificially inflated their position in U.S. News & World Report's annual college rankings.


The Student Debt Crisis Has Reshaped Democratic Platform

The Atlantic reports about the effects the student debt crisis has had on political campaigns, especially on how it has reshaped Democrat candidates' policies in the last 10 years. For more, see Reece Johnson's analysis of recent proposals for student loan forgiveness.