Larry Gordon was a higher education writer at the Los Angeles Times, where he covered colleges and universities in California and nationwide. He won the first place award for education reporting in 2014 from the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Larry previously was a reporter and editor at the Bergen Record in his home state New Jersey. He was a mid-career Fulbright Fellow, teaching journalism at the American University in Bulgaria. He earned a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s at Georgetown University. He is co-author of the hiking guide “Stairway Walks in Los Angeles.” He is based in Los Angeles.
All posts by Larry Gordon
Cal State system's ambitious Graduation Initiative 2025 seeks a huge increase in completion rates by the middle of the next decade. Efforts include adding classes, improving counseling and urging students to take full course loads.
October 17, 2018
Colleges are looking at ways to help students who work long hours at jobs. Studies show grades slip and graduation is at risk when students work more than 15 hours, but the students say they have few alternatives when financial aid is not enough.
October 14, 2018
Adults who start college but never finish face financial aid and scheduling roadblocks in returning, a new report explains. Without diplomas, their earnings and opportunities are less.
October 10, 2018
The USC report weighed black students' enrollment and graduation rates, among other factors. California ranked third highest in the nation, although author said results are actually mediocre and should be not celebrated.
September 24, 2018
The state is pushing UC campuses to widen access to undergraduate degrees by increasing the number of transfer students. UC Riverside's efforts seem to be working, avoiding possible state financial sanctions.
September 11, 2018
Ref Rodriguez's resignation ends the charter-backed majority on the Los Angeles Unified school board. Replacement plans are uncertain.
July 23, 2018
Some Cal State campuses report a doubling or more in summer enrollment with Pell Grants' revival. But time limits remain.
July 22, 2018
This will be the first UC tuition decline in nearly two decades.
July 18, 2018
California universities struggle with some minority enrollment levels.
July 5, 2018
Hispanic Serving colleges may be eligible for extra federal funds. But just as important, backers say, the Hispanic designation gives colleges a recruiting tool at a time when 51 percent of California high school graduates are Hispanic and their enrollments in higher education are increasing rapidly.
June 28, 2018
With a 23 percent four-year graduation rate among full-time students, the Cal State system is trying to get more students to finish on time.
June 3, 2018
California university students are stretching...and it is all happening in writing class, not the gym
California state universities replace remedial English composition with a new model that takes two semesters and offers academic credit for both.
May 2, 2018
Event had empty podiums for no-shows, front runners Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox. Conservative Travis Allen voiced opinions at odds with three other debaters.
April 29, 2018
The former Los Angeles mayor proposed young people work in service jobs for a year in exchange for later receiving grants for tuition and books at state colleges and universities. He also pushes for new campuses to serve the Central Valley.
April 25, 2018
The Cal State system drops its plan to raise tuition by $228 to $5,970 for California undergraduates. Praising that freeze, Legislature leaders say they will seek to provide the university more state money.
April 20, 2018
From public housing to college: new national pilot helps low-income students in LA make that journey
A federally funded pilot program is bringing college and financial aid counseling to low-income students who live in public housing projects in nine cities, including Los Angeles. Whether it expands nationwide depends on results and funding.
April 15, 2018
The University of California and California's Community Colleges announce an agreement that is expected to boost the number of students who can transfer to UC.
April 11, 2018
Following a demand from the state Legislature, the Cal State system will give applicants from the region surrounding a campus an admissions advantage over those from far away.
March 20, 2018
A report by the Campaign for College Opportunity urges that the percentages of minority and women faculty and campus leaders reflect the ratios in the student bodies at California's public colleges and universities.
March 5, 2018
The California Dream Act grants can be used for tuition at public and private colleges and universities in the state.
March 5, 2018
Under the California Dream Act, low-income undocumented students can receive aid to help pay for their college education. Fears about possible deportation and confusion over DACA may be causing some not to apply. Officials urge students to file by the March 2 deadline.
February 27, 2018
California colleges join others nationwide offering mini-grants to help needy seniors finish their studies and graduate.
February 25, 2018
Trustees of the 23-campus Cal State system will delay until May a vote on a possible $228 tuition hike to allow time to lobby Gov. Jerry Brown and the State Legislature for more funding. Brown is resistant to giving the university any more. This year's negotiations will be his last.
January 30, 2018
UC leaders delay the vote until May to give extra time for lobbying in Sacramento for more state funding. They had said that the 2.7 percent increase was needed to increase enrollment, hire faculty, maintain buildings and improve mental health services. But Gov. Jerry Brown said regents should "reject outright" the plan to raise tuition.
January 24, 2018
The upcoming survey by the California Student Aid Commission will be the first of its scope since 2006. It will seek information from about 100,000 students in all the public and private higher education sectors about housing, food, books, transportation, technology and other costs. Officials hope it could lead to improved financial aid.
January 23, 2018
A recent court ruling gives undocumented California students a window to renew their DACA applications, officials said. Meanwhile, they urge the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress to protect the 700,000 or so undocumented young people nationwide who previously had protection against deportation.
January 17, 2018
A new study found that the online catalog is difficult to search and that the lack of a common computer platform discourages students.
January 4, 2018
USC professor Shaun Harper will lead a national survey that seeks to explore what college students think about their experiences about race, gender and other factors.
January 3, 2018
State universities can not use tuition or state funds for student unions or many other services. So they turn to extra campus fees to pay for those. But now some students and faculty say those fees are getting too high. A referendum at Cal State Fresno defeated an annual $400 levy to build a new student union.
December 6, 2017
With Cal State freshman-year dropout rates ranging from 5 percent to nearly 30 percent, six campuses joined a national effort to help students persist into sophomore year.
November 21, 2017
University of California should be more lenient about late transcripts, stop withdrawing admissions, panel says
The move to more leniency about transcript verification came in response to the controversial withdrawal of admission to nearly 300 incoming students at UC Irvine last spring. They were reinstated and the university apologized.
November 15, 2017
Cal State faculty wanted a one year delay in education reform plan but got little support from the system's Board of Trustees. CSU Northridge got a one-year delay to work in its ethnic and cultural diversity courses.
November 7, 2017
Both the University of California and the California State University systems are giving students affected by the wildfires extra time, fee waivers and help with financial aid.
October 30, 2017
At $1,430 for a full-time student, the tuition and fees at California's community colleges are less than half the $3,570 national average, the College Board survey found.
October 24, 2017
The new state budget requires CSU to develop by May new preferences for qualified applicants from the local regions around campuses. The action grows out of concerns that more CSU campuses and majors are becoming overcrowded and are turning away students.
October 17, 2017
The poll by Berkeley IGS/EdSource found nine out of ten respondents think that more aid for low-income students is very or somewhat important. Republicans show less support than Democrats.
October 10, 2017
About 56 percent of California high school seniors applied for federal or state financial aid for college. The new dashboard aims to increase that number and allow schools to compare their statistics to other schools around California.
October 5, 2017
The test’s content was dramatically changed last year to align much more closely with subject material taught in high school. Gaps among racial groups persist in California and nationally.
September 26, 2017
Faculty wants a one-year delay to discuss reforms that include dropping no-credit remedial classes and allowing students to fulfill math requirements that don't need Algebra II skills.
September 19, 2017
Among California's 2016 graduates, 53 percent borrowed for education and their average total debt was $22,744. Only Utah and New Mexico had lower loads.
September 19, 2017
A possible phase-out of DACA won't mean changes to California's financial aid to undocumented students. But those students are worried about their futures if they lose their permits to work legally and might face deportation.
September 5, 2017
College leaders urge changes to California's Higher Education master plan to improve access and affordability
The first of five hearings around the state starts to examine the 1960 plan that governs the missions of UC, CSU and community colleges. Legislators say it is time for some changes but that it could take years to develop concrete reforms.
August 31, 2017
The Trump administration has proposed cutting work-study funding in half. Reformers want the payment formula to be changed so that expensive, private colleges don't receive so many advantages in the program.
August 30, 2017
Almost half of UC's incoming freshman are in the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college or university. UC is bolstering counseling and other support for those students to help them graduate.
August 23, 2017
The state's student aid commission is looking for ideas to consolidate various Cal Grants and other grant programs.
August 22, 2017
Statewide award recipient Lynda McGee was praised for her efforts to get low-income students into college. She says that some students should try to attend college away from home to have a better shot at finishing in four years.
August 20, 2017
Cal Grants are among the most generous state-funded student aid programs in the nation and can cover entire tuition at CSU and UC.
August 6, 2017
California state universities add dorm rooms as strategy to raise graduation rates, provide affordable housing
The 23-campus CSU system enrolls an overwhelmingly commuter student body but some campuses are trying to increase housing.
July 30, 2017
The new policy would allow UC's nine undergraduate campuses to seek recommendation letters and other information from up to 15 percent of their freshman applicants. The change will be monitored to see if it hurts low-income and minority students.
July 12, 2017
UC admits more students from outside California but officials expect more state residents will enroll
The number of freshman admission offers to -in-state students declined 1.7 percent to 69,972 but UC officials say they still expect a rise in actual enrollment. Meanwhile the offers to students from other states and nations were up 4 percent in the last year before new enrollment limits on them go into effect.
July 6, 2017
Co-requisite courses combine college and remedial level material, give more class time and offer more tutoring. More colleges in California and other states are expected to introduce them.
June 20, 2017
The high school graduation and college attendance rates for black, Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander young men is well below that of whites and Asians. A new study by the Education Trust-West urges barriers be lifted and more support offered for those minority male students.
June 14, 2017
The Legislature wants to maintain financial aid for UC and CSU students from families earning between $80,000 and $150,000 a year. But that conflicts with Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to phase out the program.
June 13, 2017
The Learning Policy Institute recommends teachers' professional development programs focus tightly on classroom subjects, allow for collaboration and provide lots of coaching.
June 6, 2017
To the happy surprise of some officials, thousands of California students may benefit from the expansion of federal Pell grants into summer sessions. The extra funding is expected to help speed up the time to graduation for low-income students.
May 22, 2017
The new policy is a compromise that allows five campuses to grow their out-of-state undergraduates to 18 percent, while freezing such enrollment at the four campuses already above that level. One regent said UC was "building a wall" around the university.
May 18, 2017
Budget plan withholds $50 million from UC pending audit compliance and fully funds Cal Grants at private colleges
The governor's May budget revision reverses his plan to reduce Cal Grants used at private colleges. He enters the controversy over a critical audit of UC by withholding $50 million until the university system shows that it better controls spending and improves management.
May 11, 2017
With nearly 40 percent of incoming freshmen needing remediation in English or math, CSU is planning ways to make sure those students earn college credit from the start. Many details remain to be figured out, officials said.
May 9, 2017
The free courses increased scores an average of 115 points from earlier and preliminary scores.
May 8, 2017
Parents said they were most concerned about funding, racism and teacher quality affecting black and Latino students. Meanwhile, 89 percent of black parents and 81 percent of Latinos wanted their children to be challenged more in school.
May 3, 2017
The study contends that Pell grant students would have a better chance at graduating if they started at four-year, elite colleges. It says that affluent campuses can easily afford to enroll more.
May 1, 2017
Students from low-income and immigrant families may face particularly difficult decisions in weighing colleges' financial aid offers. Some families are very resistant to loans.
April 30, 2017
Assembly Higher Education committee unanimously passes the bill, which advocates say will improve graduation rates. If approved by the full Legislature and governor, the measure would require community colleges to place students in credit classes unless there is a high probability of failure.
April 19, 2017
The numbers vary among ethnic groups, school districts and individual high schools.
April 18, 2017
State statistics show that 83.2 percent of students who entered high school in 2012-13 had graduated by 2016. But gaps as large as 20 percentage points separate some ethnic groups.
April 11, 2017
Officials say the reforms are kicking in even if student completion rates have not improved significantly yet; they expect progress soon. Student leaders say the real problems are economic, not in advising students about majors.
April 2, 2017
As result of an 11-8 trustees vote, undergraduate tuition for a full-time student from California would rise to $5,742 a year, not including campus fees, housing and books. But officials say that increased grants will fully cover the increase for many students at CSU's 23 campuses.
March 22, 2017
A move from noncredit remedial courses to specially designed credit classes will offer extra tutoring and support to thousands of CSU students. Nearly 40 percent of last fall’s CSU freshmen were found to need remediation in English or math, and 14 percent needed remediation in both subjects.
March 21, 2017
UC administrators say the enrollment of nonresidents helps Californians, while some legislators say they think admission spots are being denied to in-state students. A vote on a cap was postponed until May after much disagreement among regents.
March 16, 2017
The new proposed grants for housing, books and transportation could cost the state as much as $1.6 billion a year. Gov. Jerry Brown's office described that as a noble goal, but wonders where the funding would come from.
March 13, 2017
The final application numbers top last year's by 5 percent after much publicity and pledges that personal data will not be shared with federal authorities.
March 3, 2017
Incoming students at 90 private colleges in California face a possible $1,028, or 11 percent, cut to the Cal Grants they hope to receive. The colleges say that avoiding that reduction will help take enrollment pressures off UC and CSU. But Gov. Jerry Brown is looking for belt-tightening in higher education.
February 26, 2017
With only a week before the application deadline, the number of California Dream Act applications remains well behind last year's. The Trump administration's plans to deport undocumented people is heightening fears of Dreamer students, despite state pledges to protect their identities.
February 23, 2017
Even though this year's application period is much longer, the number of applications for college grants under the California Dream Act is lagging behind last year's. Officials say some immigrant families are afraid to disclose personal information even though the state pledges to protect it.
February 14, 2017
California attracts the most international students of any state, and so its universities are especially concerned about the new Trump administration's restrictions on immigration and visits.
January 30, 2017
California undergraduates will pay $336 more, bringing tuition and mandatory system wide fees to $12,630 a year. Room, board and books are extra.
January 26, 2017
A national report projects a drop in numbers of high school graduates. But in California, higher education officials are focusing on other trends, such as increasing Latino college attendance.
January 25, 2017
The College Futures Foundation calls for more long-term budget plans and a hard look at how pension costs limit university spending on student support services.
January 24, 2017
Napolitano was diagnosed with cancer in August and informed the regents at that time, but her illness was not publicly disclosed previously.
January 17, 2017
Higher education officials generally applaud Brown's plan, which would freeze community college fees while allowing tuition hikes at UC and CSU.
January 10, 2017
Eric Blanco, president of the state school counseling association, urges students to prepare early for college and keep options open.
January 9, 2017
Early proposals for the first possible tuition increases in six years call for a $270 hike at CSU and $300 at UC. Much awaits Gov. Brown's January budget plan.
January 2, 2017
Latinos and Asians comprise the largest groups of applicants as students seek to gain entrance to at least one of UC's nine undergraduate campuses.
December 19, 2016
Californians say they support more funds for higher education, but don't want higher taxes or tuition, poll finds. They regard campuses highly.
December 8, 2016
Eloy Ortiz Oakley is about to take over a system of 113 colleges and more than 2.1 million students.
December 7, 2016
Girls and young women often comprise at least 60 percent of students in programs. Attracting more boys is now a priority, but it won't be easy.
December 6, 2016
The unified front from UC, CSU and community colleges reflects the fear among their 74,000 undocumented students that they could face loss of work permits and deportation.
November 29, 2016
Students worry that Trump will revoke protections many have against deportation, but also say they appreciate the financial aid California provides to Dreamers.
November 28, 2016
With 80 percent of community college students placed in at least one remedial class, failure and attrition rates are high.
November 9, 2016
Some students take too many classes or the wrong classes as they prepare to transfer.
November 3, 2016
Under new federal rules, the date has moved from January to October.
October 20, 2016
The study cites the relatively low cost of the state's public universities.
October 17, 2016
Select campuses will partner with local clubs.
September 28, 2016
The centers provide academic, financial and legal help, among other services.
September 15, 2016
The student presidents represent all campuses in their respective public university systems.
September 12, 2016
Researchers believe leadership is crucial to improving student retention rates.
August 30, 2016
The CSU system is in line for a $35 million grant if it adopts plans to boost four-year graduation rates.
August 25, 2016
The universities are opening satellite campuses in urban centers.
July 19, 2016
The new chancellor will be the first Latino to lead the statewide system.
July 18, 2016
Students get a glimpse of campuses outside their communities.
July 14, 2016
Some campuses don't participate in the program because they fear sanctions.
June 29, 2016
UC is being asked to increase the number of California students it enrolls.
June 16, 2016
Admissions officials say the change may help them identify talent and potential.
June 8, 2016
Some students are not utilizing the Cal Grants they have been awarded.
May 30, 2016
The percentage has remained about the same since 1999.
May 11, 2016
Brice Harris cites rising transfer numbers amid continuing need for remediation.
March 27, 2016
Campuses hope higher graduation, transfer rates will be payoff for $40 million cost.
March 24, 2016
Teacher tenure, layoff and firing statutes are at stake.