Elissa Nadworny Elissa Nadworny reports and edits for the NPR Ed Team.
Elissa
Stories By

Elissa Nadworny

Wanyu Zhang/NPR
Elissa
Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Elissa Nadworny

Correspondent, Higher Education

Elissa Nadworny reports on all things college for NPR, following big stories like unprecedented enrollment declines, college affordability, the student debt crisis and workforce training. During the 2020-2021 academic year, she traveled to dozens of campuses to document what it was like to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has won several awards including a 2020 Gracie Award for a story about student parents in college, a 2018 James Beard Award for a story about the Chinese-American population in the Mississippi Delta and a 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in innovation.

Nadworny uses multiplatform storytelling – incorporating radio, print, comics, photojournalism, and video — to put students at the center of her coverage. Some favorite story adventures include crawling in the sewers below campus to test wastewater for the coronavirus, yearly deep-dives into the most popular high school plays and musicals and an epic search for the history behind her classroom skeleton.

Before joining NPR in 2014, Nadworny worked at Bloomberg News, reporting from the White House. A recipient of the McCormick National Security Journalism Scholarship, she spent four months reporting on U.S. international food aid for USA Today, traveling to Jordan to talk with Syrian refugees about food programs there.

Originally from Erie, Pa., Nadworny has a bachelor's degree in documentary film from Skidmore College and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Story Archive

Why 2021's college sophomores are the new freshman

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1044973143/1044973144" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Cha Pornea for NPR

You don't need a bachelor's degree to land a high-paying job

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1043737586/1046140362" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

FAFSA applications are open, with some big changes

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1042209272/1042209273" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jill Biden Discusses Her Husband's Plan For Free Community College

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1040669117/1040669118" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The city of Long Beach sets up COVID-19 vaccination and testing site at the California State University, Long Beach. More than 800 colleges and universities have now adopted COVID-19 vaccination requirements for their students and staff to be able to return to campus. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Full FDA Approval Triggers More Universities To Require The COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1032555067/1032555068" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Workers help students move in to Selleck Hall, at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Elissa Nadworny/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Elissa Nadworny/NPR

College Move-In Was Supposed To Mark A Return To Normal. Then Came The Delta Variant

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1028802323/1028853667" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Students Are Moving Onto Campus — Can Colleges Pull It Off Without A COVID Disaster?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1028542855/1028542856" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript