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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Today's college students won't have a normal college experience — one with classes, graduations, internships and campus love.

Where it stands: Colleges' decisions about openings and closing are just as inconsistent as school districts', but with different stakes and a lot more money on the line.

The big picture: Some students get to go back to campus in the fall, and some don't.

  • It's complicated, and it could all change at any time.
  • Generational spokesman and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday released complex guidelines that largely leave it up to schools whether to open their campuses or not.
  • Some schools are splitting the baby: Check out Boston University, where "arriving freshmen and returning undergraduate students will have a choice of attending in-person classes or taking classes remotely under a new hybrid teaching format the University is calling Learn from Anywhere (LfA)." 

Between the lines: There are all kinds of thorny issues at play here — from the complicated relationship between U.S. universities and foreign students, to the sad fact that Black kids are more likely to suffer if campuses are closed.

What they're saying: For young people in particular, it's important for us to focus on a "sense of the future, and to remind ourselves that we’re in this with other people," Joshua Morganstein of the American Psychiatric Association tells Axios.

My thought bubble: These are hard times. The normal instinct to speak up for what you believe in is intensified because of all that is going on, and it's hard to figure out what one's priorities should be.

  • But college stuff is fun. Please buy the team jersey, take classes that require you to read "Beowulf," and stay idealistic to make the world a better place for all of us.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America’s rapid and urgent transition to online school has come with a host of unforeseen consequences that are only getting worse as it continues into the fall.

The big picture: The issues range from data privacy to plagiarism, and schools are ill-equipped to deal with them, experts say.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.