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Now free for some, community colleges see enrollment climb
12-26-2023 7:51 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI and SAM DRYSDALE

HOLYOKE — At Holyoke Community College this fall, 3,706 students are enrolled and receiving credits for classes they are taking. That’s a 4.4% increase over the 3,550 students at the college in the fall of 2022.The jump in enrollment mirrors what is...

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Graduating amid signs of protest: 6,800 UMass students receive diplomas at ceremony briefly interrupted by walk out
05-18-2024 4:22 PM

By Elise Linscott

AMHERST — Several dozen protesters marched out of the 154th UMass Amherst Undergraduate Commencement ceremony this weekend when Chancellor Javier Reyes took the podium, including a few faculty members and people in the stands carrying banners,...


Reyes takes helm of UMass flagship amid pro-Palestinian protests
04-26-2024 4:32 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — On a Friday morning filled with music, ceremony and speeches by state leaders to inaugurate Javier Reyes as the 31st leader of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the first Hispanic chancellor of the flagship campus, protesters...


Guest columnist Phyllis Keenan: Restoring the promise of Massachusetts’ community colleges
12-17-2023 1:04 PM

By PHYLLIS KEENAN

The promise of Massachusetts’ community colleges is high quality, affordable education that’s accessible to everyone. At Greenfield Community College, where I’m a professor, our goal is to ensure there’s opportunity available for all residents,...


State bill calls for taxing wealthy private colleges with endowments over $1B
11-27-2023 5:28 PM

By SOPHIE HAUCK

AMHERST — A group of local college students, along with a handful of Massachusetts lawmakers, are advocating to tax nearly a dozen elite Massachusetts colleges and universities, whose multibillion-dollar endowments they say should fund early and...


Poll finds gap in parental expectations about college
11-26-2023 6:00 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — There are significant gaps in the expectations parents have for their children’s futures after high school, divided sharply by race and income demographics, according to poll results released earlier this month.The statewide poll of...


Big college aid expansion in Massachusetts will lift 25,000 students
11-15-2023 3:33 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — A third of all UMass students will qualify for free tuition paid for by the new income surtax on the state’s highest earners, under a plan the Healey administration rolled out Wednesday on an expansion of state financial aid.The governor...


MassConnect helps boost enrollment at community colleges
11-13-2023 8:48 PM

By SOPHIE HAUCK

After watching enrollment decline for years, local community college officials are feeling optimistic about rising numbers of students signing up for classes, in part thanks to MassReconnect. The new state financial aid program covers the cost of...


UMass lands $1.1M EPA grant for home energy research
08-20-2023 7:32 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — University of Massachusetts researchers have landed a $1.1M grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to research ways to help lower-income households and neighborhoods make the transition to a clean-energy future.Residential buildings...


UMass Amherst dining takes top honors again
08-16-2023 12:43 PM

By SOPHIE HAUCK

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has won bragging rights for having the best campus food in the country for the seventh consecutive time, the Princeton Review determined, based on feedback from college students across the country.The...


A higher ed game-changer?: Could MassReconnect change college education in Massachusetts? Experts say yes
05-28-2023 12:31 PM

By Naylynn Tañón Reyes, Swaha Bhattacharya, and Tint Tha Ra Wun

NORTHAMPTON — Chuck Bayliss, now an Ada Comstock scholar at Smith College, started her own woodworking business in 2006 in Leeds via a trade program at Seattle Central Community Colleges in downtown Seattle. Due to health concerns, however, Bayliss...


Plans coming together for public higher ed investments 
05-16-2023 2:06 PM

By Sam Drysdale

BOSTON — As the House and Senate prepare for budget negotiations to get underway in a few weeks, a coalition advocating for “debt-free” public higher education is making a final push for historic investments into the sector with the advent of newly...


Farewell to an ‘all-star’: Reflecting on the legacy of Christina Royal as she prepares to leave her post as HCC president
05-07-2023 2:56 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

HOLYOKE — For Christina Royal, the power to help students realize their full potential is just like magic. In front of a group of former graduates, state dignitaries and city officials gathered at Holyoke Community College last week to bid Royal...


Tuition on rise at UMass as state weighs reforms, financial aid levels
04-14-2023 8:42 AM

By Sam Drysdale and Sophie Hauck

BOSTON — The University of Massachusetts has agreed to increase tuition, room and board next academic year, as leaders on Beacon Hill disagree over creating a “tuition lock” system and how much to invest in public higher education.The UMass board of...


Value of UMass research work hits $813 million
04-13-2023 9:50 AM

By MICHAEL P. NORTON

BOSTON — Research work at the University of Massachusetts expanded by 23% over the past five years, with almost all of it in STEM fields and a portfolio that’s the fourth largest in New England, behind Harvard University, MIT and Yale University.UMass...


Healey’s free college cost pegged to aid, enrollment projections
04-06-2023 12:23 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Gov. Maura Healey said this week that she is looking forward to working with the Legislature on ways to fund free community college for Massachusetts residents over 25, after a representative questioned if the $20 million she earmarked for...


Holyoke Community College names four finalists for president
03-31-2023 8:01 AM

STAFF REPORT

HOLYOKE – Holyoke Community College has announced four finalists to succeed Christina Royal as its next president.The HCC search committee evaluating candidates whittled down a field of 50 candidates to four. All four finalists have many years of...


Guest columnist Christina Royal: Pandemic shifts a ‘shining moment in history of HCC’
03-16-2023 5:13 PM

By CHRISTINA ROYAL

Monday, March 13, marked the third anniversary of my message to the Holyoke Community College community, announcing that, following spring break in 2020, all academic courses (and soon nearly all campus services) would go fully remote due to the...


Report finds fewer students heading to college; pols call for more investment
02-09-2023 7:00 PM

By SYDNEY KO

BOSTON — The number of students choosing to attend post-secondary education in Massachusetts has dropped significantly in recent years, a trend that started nearly a decade ago and has only been exacerbated during the pandemic.“The pandemic’s impact...


Report: Mass. college aid programs falling behind
02-02-2023 12:34 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

The share of Massachusetts students who take out loans to pay for public higher education has exploded in the past two decades while the combined pressure of inflation and a lack of investment have hamstrung the impact of state-funded financial aid,...


Mount Holyoke College president Sonya Stephens stepping down in August
03-02-2022 5:54 PM

By DUSTY CHRISTENSEN

SOUTH HADLEY — Yet another local college president is stepping down, the third such announcement in less than six months.On Wednesday, Mount Holyoke College President Sonya Stephens announced that she will part ways with the school in August to take a...

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