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David Geffen. Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for UCLA

The Yale School of Drama announced on Wednesday that degree and certificate programs will be tuition-free "in perpetuity" thanks to an "unprecedented" $150 million donation from billionaire David Geffen.

Why it matters: For a school whose tuition previously amounted to $32,800, the move "should remove a barrier to entry for low-income students and those worried about incurring high student debt before entering an often low-paying field," the New York Times writes.

  • It comes 15 years after the Yale School of Music stopped charging tuition in the wake of a $100 million donation from billionaire Stephen Adams, according to The Daily Beast.

Details: Yale School of Drama said it will stop charging tuition beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, which starts in August.

  • The school also said that it will now be called the David Geffen School of Drama in honor of the donation.

Go deeper

USDA to send $1.5 billion to help schools provide student lunch

Photo: Luis Antonio Rojas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is sending $1.5 billion to help schools struggling to serve students healthy lunches, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: School districts across the United States are experiencing food and supply shortages, price increases and delayed and canceled deliveries, among other setbacks, according to the School Nutrition Association.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker