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From UMass Boston to Vermont’s Champlain College, institutes of higher education are trying to boost the number of graduates in a field that barely existed ten years ago: cyber security. And colleges and universities are scrambling to keep up with increased cyber security threats.

Ahead of his State of the Union address, President Obama was in Knoxville, Tennessee, Friday where he proposed making community college tuition-free for millions of students who keep their grades up.

Obama first announced his plan Thursday evening aboard Air Force One in a video posted exclusively to the social networks Facebook and Vine.

Facing widespread criticism for its hypocrisy and growing inequities between coaches and players, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will pay for family travel to national championship games. Under a new pilot program announced Tuesday, the NCAA said it will help cover expenses for players' families to travel to the Men's and Women's Final Four this spring.

The way higher education is packaged and delivered in this country is rapidly changing. Soaring costs and online alternatives are prompting many traditional colleges and universities to take a long look in the mirror, including one faculty-led think-tank located in the shadow of Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

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.

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