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Higher Education and Recent News: Net Neutrality, Tax Bill, Travel Ban

The news can be overwhelming – sources with different pieces of information, opposing opinions, and topics that people do not have the time or energy to keep up with. The best practice to keep oneself informed is to make it relatable to where one is in life. The following are three topics that have been seen frequently in the news and their implication on students in higher education:

Net Neutrality

“Net neutrality” is the idea that all web content should be treated equally by internet service providers, without extra charge to any types of web materials.

According to insidehighered.com, “Under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, due to be voted on December 14 by the majority-Republican commission, service providers would have the freedom to slow down or even block websites or online services that don’t serve their commercial interest.” The providers will be able to charge fees for certain content.

Service providers would have the freedom to slow down or even block websites or online services that don’t serve their commercial interest. – insidehighered.com

This impacts higher education because it could make it more difficult for students to access educational resources, and could “impose higher costs on institutions” because they would have to pay fees to make sure that online content is accessible to students. This cost could potentially be passed on to students, both in money and in time. Either students may incur the fee to receive faster internet, or take more time for their academics, research or online tests to load.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/11/29/colleges-voice-concern-over-planned-net-neutrality-rollback

Graduate students rally against the proposed GOP tax-reform bill at Union Square in New York City on November 29, 2017

Tax Bills

The current tax bill has incited worry on many individuals, particularly lower- to middle-income individuals. With proposed increase in taxes for certain brackets in the tax codes, it is not surprising that this will affect students in higher education.

According to insidehighered.com, “Both tax reform plans would for the first time tax the income of college endowments by targeting the largest endowments at private institutions.” Many tax benefits that make attending college and graduate programs more affordable will be stripped. Graduate students at campuses across the country participated in walkouts to protest a tax on graduate tuition benefits that would make graduate school inaffordable for many students.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/11/30/how-senate-and-house-tax-bills-would-hit-higher-education

For more details on what is in the tax bill, visit http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/28/news/economy/senate-revised-tax-bill/index.html.

#YouAreWelcomeHere Campaign for immigrants

Travel Ban

The travel restrictions from the Trump administration are nothing new, but as they begin to take shape, higher education may be affected by the nation’s policies.

Bans have affected several countries and people groups, but do not limit travel by visiting students and scholars with F, J and M visas coming in from restricted countries such as Chad, Libya and Yemen. However, according to insidehigered.com, those three countries have restrictions that “could prevent students and scholars from coming to the U.S. for short-term visits – such as to participate in a conference.”

Higher education is still concerned. Although it appears that the “more tailored approach to non-immigrants…recognize[s] the value of educational exchange,” the uncertainty felt by international students, scholars and travelers may keep them from going through the extensive steps to come to the United States for further education and send messages of unwelcome to people groups who are not yet on the list.

There is concern that talented students and scholars are being prevented from coming to the United States, and is sending a message of exclusion.

There is concern that talented students and scholars are being prevented from coming to the United States, and is sending a message of exclusion.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/09/26/new-travel-restrictions-raise-questions-concerns-higher-ed

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