Higher education was at a crossroads even before the COVID-19 crisis. In recent years, the cost of college attendance has risen and student debt levels have exploded. Discussions about debt forgiveness and reconfiguring higher education finance have moved out of wonky policy circles and into public discourse. Meanwhile, the costs of college have risen dramatically in recent years, perhaps exacerbated by decreases in state funding, and leading many institutions of higher education (“IHEs”) to provide online and lower-cost solutions to supplement or replace the “traditional” four-year, residential college—a trend that will be accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis. Simultaneously, college demographics have shifted, with an increasing population of “nontraditional” students, including those who are older, lack financial support from parents or other family members, and are more likely to have dependents. Disparities in higher education have had disproportionate, negative, and long-lasting effects on Black and Latino communities. And COVID-19 continues has
It was on a Saturday in mid-March when Abby Schiff, then a third-year medical student at Harvard working through surgery clinical rotations, found out she wouldn’t be going back to the hospital.
She had worked the day before, but with the coronavirus threat growing quickly, Schiff, like thousands of other medical students across the country, was sidelined when the Association of American Medical Colleges issued a temporary suspension of clinical rotations in hopes of protecting students and patients, and conserving personal protective equipment (PPE).
She didn’t sit around waiting, though. As nurses came out of retirement and medical school professors pressed pause on teaching