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The Education Department Friday released its much-anticipated plan to rate colleges. Starting next school year, the Department will rate more than 5,000 colleges and universities as high, low or middle-performing schools.

In late October, the Massachusetts’ Department of Higher Education released its “Degrees of Urgency” Vision Project report. It addresses challenges for state colleges and universities as demographic shifts in the next decade will result in smaller student enrollments. In New England, colleges can anticipate a 9 percent or more population loss.   

A national organization representing thousands of university professors is criticizing program cuts and faculty layoffs at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

In a letter addressed to President David Flanagan, the American Association of University Professors questions the severity of the university’s financial woes. AAUP says the actions being taken are in “blatant disregard” for tenured faculty.

The U.S. Education Department is cracking down on for-profit colleges whose graduates can't find jobs that let them pay off their federal loans.

Under a new rule, career programs will have to show that their graduates are finding gainful employment and have manageable debt loads. If graduates from career programs aren't making enough money to pay off their loans, the government will hold the school responsible and cut off access to federal student aid dollars.

Since the Great Recession, the amount of money states invest in public higher education has dropped dramatically. That, coupled with a steep drop in enrollment, has led some state university systems to cut faculty and academic programs altogether. In Maine, where Republican Paul LePage secured a second term as governor on Tuesday, those cuts are unlikely to be restored.

Several U.S. colleges have seen declining enrollment since the recession began. But changes to a federal loan program in 2011 have hit some historically black colleges and universities especially hard.

Branch campuses are smaller extensions of a school's main campus, located in a different city or state, and they're popping up across the country at a fast rate. Many Boston schools are now banking on these additional campuses to recruit students and to bolster their brands.

The amount of research dollars public colleges and universities receive from federal and state governments is dwindling. Private companies are picking up the slack, driving innovation at public research universities. Starting next semester, a major defense contractor will send some of its top researchers to work side-by-side with students and faculty at the University of Massachusetts.

New York University offers one of this country's most expensive four-year degrees, and it's only getting more expensive.

John Sexton has been president of NYU for over a decade. During that time, the university's real-estate footprint has grown by two million square feet and it's launched 11 international academic centers. Sexton has faced significant criticism for the direction he's taken the school, and for rising costs. Earlier this year he announced he'll step down in 2016.

Jeff Selingo says it’s time to move past the idea that college students need to be limited to certain majors. The contributing editor to The Chronicle of Higher Education sat down with Innovation Hub host Kara Miller to talk about how the current system might be holding college graduates back.

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