Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


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    Rattankun Thongbun/iStock via Getty Images
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    As states drop degree requirements, does a 4-year diploma’s value change?

    Although new policies are propping up workers without degrees, experts say higher education will continue to play a role in hiring decisions and pay rates.

    Danielle McLean • Feb. 8, 2024
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    ccahill via Getty Images
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    3 state policy trends that will shape higher ed in 2024

    Lawmakers have set their sights on restricting diversity, equity and inclusion and eliminating degree requirements for government jobs.

    Laura Spitalniak • Jan. 30, 2024
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    Retrieved from Colorado State University on January 09, 2024
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    Unpacking the fallout from the MOVEit meltdown

    Third-party vendors exposed some colleges — including public flagships and liberal arts schools — to multiple breaches during the mass hack. 

    Matt Kapko and Julia Himmel • Jan. 18, 2024
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    monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
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    7 higher education trends to watch in 2024

    Colleges will likely grapple with continued consolidation, the rise of artificial intelligence and more attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • Updated Jan. 8, 2024
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    fotostorm via Getty Images
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    Colleges want to move away from expensive textbooks. Can it be done?

    West Texas A&M University is one of the latest institutions exploring using more open educational resources. 

    Danielle McLean • Dec. 18, 2023
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    Vladimir Vladimirov via Getty Images
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    Why more colleges are adopting direct admissions

    The practice — which notifies students that they’re admitted before they even apply — is taking off at public systems and some private institutions.

    Lilah Burke • Dec. 11, 2023
  • Academic cuts loom at UNC Greensboro. Faculty question whether they’re needed at all.

    The North Carolina college is gearing up to drop degree programs, though one analysis found it’s in sound financial shape.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • Dec. 4, 2023
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    ssuni via Getty Images
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    ‘Affirmative action for well-off students’: Why early decision is under fire

    Scrutiny over the practice heightened after the Supreme Court struck down race-conscious admissions earlier this year. 

    Lilah Burke • Nov. 27, 2023
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    Aaron Hawkins via Getty Images
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    Legacy admissions remains in the spotlight. But accurate data on the subject is elusive.

    Institutions sometimes report conflicting information about legacy status, complicating research efforts while debates on college access intensify.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • Nov. 14, 2023
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    "Fletcher Hall at Sweet Briar" by Annette Teng is licensed under CC BY 3.0
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    More colleges are resetting tuition. Does the strategy work?

    Some institutions have seen short-term enrollment gains from slashing their sticker prices, but the strategy doesn’t guarantee a turnaround.

    Danielle McLean • Oct. 9, 2023
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    traveler1116 via Getty Images
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    Ohio Republicans to push revised bill limiting college DEI and faculty strikes

    The author of the far-reaching proposal is optimistic it will pass the House, despite strong pushback from faculty groups and unions. 

    Laura Spitalniak • Sept. 13, 2023
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    sshepard via Getty Images
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    Why colleges are using algorithms to determine financial aid levels

    The practice can help colleges optimally distribute their limited resources, but it could also cause issues for students and even create legal risk.

    Lilah Burke • Sept. 5, 2023
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    "FAMU#4" by 2C2K Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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    Can the farm bill help fix underfunding for HBCUs?

    Lawmakers have until the end of September to reauthorize the spending package, which is a significant source of funding for land-grant universities. 

    Lilah Burke • Aug. 25, 2023
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    sshepard via Getty Images
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    Should colleges use AI in admissions?

    Companies are eager to help colleges use AI to streamline admissions, but the practice raises ethical concerns. 

    Lilah Burke • July 18, 2023
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    Vitalii Pasichnyk/Getty via Getty Images
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    MOVEit mass exploit timeline: How the file-transfer service attacks entangled victims

    The slow-moving disaster has ensnared some of the world's largest enterprises. Cybersecurity experts expect further damage to come.

    Matt Kapko • July 17, 2023
  • U.S. President Joe Biden, joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, speaks on student loan debt in the Roosevelt Room of the White House August 24, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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    Alex Wong via Getty Images
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    Here’s why the Education Department’s proposed financial transparency website has higher ed worried

    The agency pitched the new site, which will host information on every higher ed program, as part of its gainful employment regulations.

    Lilah Burke • July 5, 2023
  • Protesters gather outside of the U.S. Supreme Court building to urge justices to preserve race-conscious admissions.
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    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf/Higher Ed Dive
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    Supreme Court rules against race-conscious admissions at Harvard and UNC-Chapel Hill

    The recent opinion was unsurprising for college access advocates who had nonetheless urged the high court to keep with decades of precedent.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • Updated June 29, 2023
  • Is University of Idaho’s acquisition of University of Phoenix a good idea?

    Higher education experts warn that the public institution’s leaders will have to contend with the for-profit’s checkered past and take on unknown liabilities.

    Natalie Schwartz • May 22, 2023
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    The image by Kenneth Green is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
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    California becomes battleground over bachelor’s degrees at community colleges

    Two of the state's higher ed systems are clashing over the right to offer students four-year degrees.

    Laura Spitalniak • May 11, 2023
  • A George Washington University student holds up a protest sign.
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    Permission granted by Taytum Wymer
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    George Washington University’s plan to arm campus police ignites concerns over racially motivated violence

    Students and faculty have highlighted the role of armed campus officers in fatal shootings nationwide, a renewed conversation since George Floyd’s murder.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • May 8, 2023
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    Permission granted by Morgan State University
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    HBCUs level up: Funding pours in to tackle critical needs and rewrite history after George Floyd

    Historically Black institutions also saw an influx of pandemic money from government and philanthropy. But they say it's not enough.

    Danielle McLean • April 14, 2023
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    marcoventuriniautieri/E+ via Getty Images
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    Why Vermont State’s digital library idea is so controversial

    Digital-first libraries already existed in higher education. But librarians have concerns about adopting them for all disciplines and materials.

    Lilah Burke • March 8, 2023
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    John Lamparski via Getty Images
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    A year later, governor’s revitalization plan for SUNY still getting off the ground

    Kathy Hochul wants to burnish some institutions’ research profiles and reverse the system’s declining enrollment to grow to 500,000 students.

    Jeremy Bauer-Wolf • Feb. 14, 2023
  • A headshot photo of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
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    Brandon Bell via Getty Images
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    Free college keeps growing — at the state level

    Elected officials are calling for new programs and expansions. Policy wonks sometimes critique design choices, but free remains a powerful hook.

    Lilah Burke • Feb. 9, 2023
  • Four young women participate in a cooking class in an industrial kitchen.
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    The image by Sterling College is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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    What can work colleges teach the rest of higher ed?

    Amid high worries about higher ed's value in the job market, work colleges offer lessons on integrating classroom learning with employment opportunities.

    Laura Spitalniak • Updated Feb. 17, 2023