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This Week in Admissions News | Week 24

01 JUL 2021

The world of college admissions is ever-changing and for students planning to apply to universities, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. We’ve rounded up the latest news and given our take on what it means for future and current college students. Check back each week to see what’s new!

1. The University of Cambridge brings back in-person graduation ceremonies beginning next week

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Cambridge will resume in-person graduation ceremonies next Wednesday with social distancing and facial covering requirements in place. Whereas it would normally hold ceremonies throughout the school year, students from 29 of Cambridge’s colleges will graduate over the course of four days; and for friends and family of graduates, the university will livestream the ceremonies for the first time in its 800-year history. In a statement, Cambridge said that it recognized the “importance of celebrating the remarkable achievements of our students in a fitting manner that keeps most of the elements of the traditional ceremony while incorporating the necessary precautions".

Crimson’s Take: How exciting that Cambridge students will be able to experience in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time in nearly a year and a half! And despite their family and friends still being asked to stay home, we also think it’s great that one of the oldest universities in the world will livestream the ceremonies for the first time ever to accommodate for safe and socially distant celebrations. We’re encouraged by each step we see towards a post-COVID world for college students everywhere — we know it’s been a long wait!

2. Historic $150 million donation eliminates tuition for students at Yale’s renowned drama school

Thanks to an unprecedented $150 million gift from producer and film executive David Geffen, students at Yale’s drama school will no longer have to pay tuition, transforming financial aid at the school “in perpetuity” and making it “the only institution of its kind to eliminate tuition for all degree and certificate students.” In recognition of the gift, the Yale School of Drama has been renamed as the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. Mr. Geffen is best known as the founder of Asylum Records and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG and is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee. 

Crimson’s Take: What an incredibly generous gift Mr. Geffen has given, not just in monetary value, but in that it will allow access to a world-class drama education for many talented students who may have otherwise bypassed higher education altogether due to financial limitations. At Crimson, we believe every qualified student should have a fair shot at a top-notch education and are always inspired to hear that the world’s leaders and philanthropists are helping make strides toward the level playing field we envision for university hopefuls everywhere.

3. Some US universities are announcing extensions on tuition freezes implemented in light of COVID-19

Due to students’ weariness of online education and financial constraints brought on by the pandemic, many US universities last year announced they would not raise tuition prices as they normally would ahead of the new school year. This year, while most institutions reportedly plan to raise tuition by around 2%, a number of US colleges have opted to freeze tuition as they aim to seem “more attractive to potential students” and “increase access to students who are financially struggling to pay for college.”

Crimson’s Take: We know that the financial aspect of a university education can present a large obstacle for some families, which is why we make it a point to assist students with scholarship applications in the same way we do with their college applications. We’re glad to know that some US universities have made it a priority to keep costs as affordable as they can for incoming students, especially as the world emerges from a devastating pandemic that left many families in financial straits.

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