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confronting cost

There’s a lot in the news about college presidents grappling with diversity, race and ethnicity. But Ronald Liebowitz heads a campus established nearly 70 years ago as a national model of ethnic and religious pluralism. This month, Liebowitz became the ninth leader of Brandeis, a private research university that considers social justice central to its mission. 

As part of our series of conversations with leaders in higher education, On Campus' Kirk Carapezza sat down with Liebowitz before his official first day on campus in Waltham. 

Students at the University of Massachusetts can expect higher tuition bills next fall. Confronted with a budget gap of millions, the UMass Board of Trustees today voted to hike tuition across all five campuses by 5.8 percent.

This month, Dr. Paula Johnson officially leaves the field of medicine to become the first African American president of Wellesley College. As part of our series with leaders in higher education, Dr. Johnson sat down with WGBH's Kirk Carapezza during her first day on the job. 

This summer, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is partnering with a private company to recruit and enroll more international students. The flagship campus is finalizing the deal amid criticism that it's accepting too many out-of-state students.

Not many college presidents come from outside the Ivory Towers. Jeff Weiss, who took the helm at Lesley University on July 1 is one of the few.  

As students are increasingly stressed about their finances, debt-free college is all the rage. Politicians are using the concept as an attractive campaign platform, but critics say it makes more sense in theory than in practice.

With college application deadlines looming, December is a stressful month for high school seniors - especially for those who can't turn to their own parents for help. When English is not spoken at home, and parents have not even been to college themselves, their children can get lost in the process. To fix that problem, one Massachusetts high school is pairing experienced parent volunteers with worthy first generation students.

The cost of college is a hot topic around kitchen tables and on the campaign trail. But will it remain a top issue a year from now, when it's time for Americans to vote for a new president? A new WGBH News poll indicates there’s increased interest now, but history tells us other themes will probably surpass it in the general election.

Just this week some undocumented immigrant students in Massachusetts were made eligible for a prestigious state scholarship at four-year public schools. Immigration advocates welcome that development, but say much more needs to be done. Most undocumented students, including those who attend the state's community colleges, are still not eligible for financial aid.

About a quarter of the students who attend community college in the U.S. come from immigrant backgrounds. They face the same challenges as their non-immigrant classmates but they also experience a different set of struggles, related to language, culture, and helping their families navigate life in a new land.

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