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Mar 9, 2020

The common narrative surrounding independent colleges and universities is that they are either elite ivy institutions or small colleges on the brink of closure. Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, dispels this black and white view in a conversation with co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Lorelle Espinosa. Mistick talks about how private schools are increasingly concerned with access and affordability, and how her years as president of Wilson College informs her work as head of a national organization serving a diverse range of institutions. Afterward, our co-hosts discuss how colleges, the federal government, and the higher education association community are responding to the coronavirus outbreak.


Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:

Conversation with Barbara Mistick

Wilson College Student Loan Buyback Program

Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow's Workplace by Barbara Mistick

New York State Excelsior Program

Student Aid Alliance

Post-interview chat

Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Department of Education

Can Internationalization Survive Coronavirus? You Need to See My Data.
Higher Education Today

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Guidance
ACE Engage®


Each episode of dotEDU presents a deep dive into a major issue impacting college campuses and students across the country. Hosts from ACE are joined by guest experts to lead you through thought-provoking conversations on topics such as campus free speech, diversity in admissions, college costs and affordability, and more. Find all episodes of the podcast at the dotEDU page.

Tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @ACEducation or email


Jon Fansmith is ACE’s director of government relations and represents ACE and its members on matters related to the federal budget and appropriations process, with a particular focus on student aid.

Lorelle Espinosa is the vice president for research at ACE. In this role, she is responsible for developing the organization’s thought leadership and research agenda and for ensuring a consistent evidence base across ACE’s array of programs and services.