As universities reopen, no one has more uncertainty than this year’s freshman class

There’s the adventure of going off to college for the first time, that big, nerve-wracking step toward adulthood that some students have been preparing for their entire high school careers. And then there’s going off to college for the first time in 2020.

That is, if this year’s freshman class of students are even going off somewhere at all.

As universities in the Chicago area and around the country scramble to resume classes during the COVID-19 pandemic — be that with online coursework, students in class or a hybrid of both — they acknowledge they must plan in particular for this year’s freshman class, and figure out how to welcome new students with orientations that in past years would have included weeklong receptions, dorm move-in shindigs and get-to-know-you social events with fellow students.

A number of universities have not yet announced their plans for resuming. Recently, about 24% of American

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Outrage as coronavirus prompts US universities and colleges to shed staff

<span>Photograph: Nina Westervelt/Rex/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Nina Westervelt/Rex/Shutterstock

Ahead of the coming reopening of further education, universities and colleges around America are beginning to announce massive layoffs and job cuts, citing financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Public and private university systems announcing cuts to staff, pay and benefits include the University of Massachusetts, California State University, Boston University, University of Arizona and many others.

Related: Universities plan for students’ return – but will US campus life ever be the same?

But the actions have not gone unopposed and have triggered protests, outrage and lawsuits from staff and unions in an attempt to halt, or even reverse, the layoffs.

Budget shortfalls have already resulted in steep cuts to higher education funding from state governments around the US, as state university systems are losing millions in revenue with severe gaps in federal relief to cover the losses. Private colleges are also grappling with deficits

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Reopening Plans for Georgia’s Public Universities Are Under Fire from Students and Faculty

Though the coronavirus is still, as President Trump put it last week, a “thing,” universities around the country are opening for the fall semester, albeit with an array of restrictions in place that are intended to tamp down the virus’ spread among students and faculty. But those restrictions seem to be particularly lax at public universities in Georgia, where students and faculty have been protesting a reopening plan predicated on in-person instruction, and which critics feel does not adequately address several potentially hazardous areas of student life.

One such area is student housing, which came into focus last week after uncovered documents revealed that a property-management company called Corvias tried to pressure the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia to ensure there are no limitations on dorm capacity this fall. In response to the letter, the Board of Regents considered directing Georgia State University to remove

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Places Most Dependent on Local Colleges and Universities

As the coronavirus spread all over the world earlier this year, colleges and universities across the U.S. switched to remote learning to mitigate the possibility of outbreaks on campus. Now, even as the number of new cases in the U.S. continues to break records, many schools are planning to return to in-person learning this fall.

Countless metro areas rely on universities to keep their economies afloat. And some metros rely more heavily on them than others, according to Student Loan Hero’s latest research, making universities central to their economic futures.

Key findings Lynchburg, Va., takes the top spot in our list, with just over 14% of people working for or attending a local college or university. There are seven colleges, universities or professional schools in the Lynchburg area. Springfield, Mass., is second, with around 13% of the area population either working at or attending local places of higher learning. That’s

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US universities under pressure to cut fees because of remote learning

Jackson Butler received an unexpected boost this week after growing frustration that his final year at Georgetown University would be largely taught online with limited access to its Washington DC base.

“It’s very clear we’ll have a diminished experience,” he said. “There will be no extracurricular activities and we won’t be able to access resources on campus.”

But after organising a petition of 2,000 students accusing Georgetown of “highway robbery” for maintaining its tuition fees at nearly $58,000 a year, the university backed down and offered a 10 per cent discount.

Georgetown has become one of just a handful of elite US institutions to make such a gesture, with most resisting calls for discounts as they brace themselves for the hefty impact of coronavirus on their own budgets.

More from the Financial Times

Georgetown’s move adds to pressure on institutions around the world to make concessions to students who feel

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Universities Can Help Foreign Students by Partially Reopening

Many of my fellow international classmates at Harvard are very worried about their immigration status in light of the Department of Homeland Security’s new rule that requires international students with F-1 visas attending schools with all online classes (such as Harvard) to leave the U.S. or transfer to a school with some in-person instruction.

Leaving the U.S. can be disruptive for the lives of many international students and their research activities, much of which cannot be done online, especially in the physical sciences.

In response, Harvard and MIT have decided to sue the Trump administration and have requested injunctive relief from federal courts. Since it is commonly understood that the power to grant and revoke visas resides in the executive, these well-intentioned legal efforts made by universities to protect their students will likely be futile.

I believe the president’s policy efforts to encourage schools to reopen are also well-intentioned,

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Universities scramble to protect students from deportation under new ICE policy requiring in-person classes

The Trump administration has thrown colleges and universities across the country into confusion this week with the unexpected announcement that international students will have to leave the U.S. if their school does not offer in-person classes during the upcoming semester. 

In a press release Monday afternoon, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that, under a forthcoming temporary rule, foreign students currently attending a school that plans to operate entirely online during the fall semester will either have to transfer to a different school offering in-person classes, leave the country voluntarily or face possible deportation.

In addition, ICE said the State Department “will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”

Under normal circumstances, the U.S. does not grant student visas to people enrolled in online-only

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International students must leave USA if universities offer only online classes this fall

The Trump administration announced international students will have to leave the USA, or face possible deportation, if the college or university they attend switches to online-only classes in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Similarly, international students enrolled in colleges or universities offering only online courses this fall will be barred from entering the USA.

In the spring, international students were allowed to attend online-only classes. The reversal could be a major economic blow to colleges and universities, as well as  communities, over the loss of tuition and other revenue from international students who typically pay full price.

Related video: Colleges detail what it could look like when they reopen for fall 2020

Colleges and universities are implementing layoffs, furloughs and other cost-clotting measures to offset a loss in revenue amid the coronavirus pandemic as more people defer college.

US coronavirus map: Tracking the outbreak

The new policy, issued

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