Universities and Colleges | KUNC

Universities and Colleges

Columbia, Brown, Penn, Purdue — universities with hallowed traditions, proud alumni and another thing in common: Right now they're being sued by disgruntled students.

The students claim that when campuses shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, they should have been entitled to more of their money back. And the list of institutions facing such challenges is growing, including private institutions and entire public systems in California, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona.

For the last few weeks, it's been tough for Alexis Jones to focus. The high school senior has been holed up in a two-bedroom apartment with, at times, four other people, on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.

She's busy with her high school classes, AP tests, her online college course, plus her job at a nonprofit, for which she is still working remotely. The things that bring her joy in isolation? Painting with acrylics and daydreaming about college.

Idaho State University has accepted more students for next year than it did for this year, but that doesn't mean it'll have more students enrolling.



It's the Monday after spring break, a day when students and professors would usually be returning to campus. But that traditional springtime bustle is nowhere to be seen here at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

This spring was supposed to be an exciting time for Xander Christou. He's a senior in high school in Austin, Texas, and was looking forward to all the fun: prom, senior skip day and of course, graduation.

Edith Matesic teaches at orientation
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Matthew Roberts has been a certified nursing assistant for five years.

"I really enjoy like a lot of the patient contact you get," he said.

But the 23-year-old is taking his career to the next level. Roberts recently wrapped up his associate degree at Front Range Community College in Westminster. After he passes the licensing exam, Roberts will be a registered nurse (RN).

Public Domain

Students are shouldering more of the cost of earning a degree from a public college or university. That's according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The report found state funding for public two and four-year colleges has decreased by more than $6.6 billion over the past decade while students are paying more.

Theta Pi group
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

It's the second night of rush week for Theta Pi Sigma, a Greek letter organization at the University of Colorado Boulder. More than a dozen students have split into two groups to play a Google version of Family Feud. Senior Naya O'Reilly huddles with one of the teams.

"Do we want a name?" O'Reilly asked the group. "Team name anyone?"

There’s a college dropout crisis in America. That’s according to a recent report from the New York Times and the Urban Institute’s Center on Education Data and Policy. They found that roughly one in three students who enroll in college never earn a degree.

Spencer Hall and Melissa Henke
Stephanie Daniel / KUNC

Spencer Hall was about 13 or 14 when his life changed.

"I was at my brother's house," said Hall. "We had the police and social worker knock on my brother's door and tell me that they were taking me into foster care."

Hall bounced around a couple different foster homes before joining the army at 18. Seven years and an associate degree later, he transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

"I always dreamed, dreamed of being a student at a university," said Hall.

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