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Felicia Mello

Higher Education Reporter
Felicia Mello is an award-winning, multimedia journalist who has contributed stories to The Washington Post, The Nation, NPR, and CNN’s Parts Unknown, among others. She comes to CALmatters from Las Vegas, where she built the digital team at Vegas Seven magazine and served as the Nevada reporter for the Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation. Prior to that, she edited a network of hyperlocal news websites in the Sacramento region for Patch.com. Felicia was a Kaiser Health Reporting Fellow at The Boston Globe, and formed part of the UC Berkeley team that garnered the 2006 George Polk Award for Radio Reporting. A native Californian, she holds a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley and speaks fluent Spanish. She's part country girl, part city slicker, so Sacramento suits her just fine.

A state audit found CSU failed to fully disclose the existence of a budget surplus to legislators and students even as it raised tuition and lobbied for more funding. CSU…

Matthew Polamalu was spending 1.5 hours each day commuting back and forth to community college along Southern California’s congested freeways when he decided he’d had enough. He sat down at his...

The cost of a college degree is soaring in California, where public universities were once free. What happened? And what can be done for students and families?

It’s your junior year of high school, and you want to go to college. You’ve heard your salary can be a lot higher if you have a bachelor’s degree, but…

California’s financial aid system could get its biggest overhaul in 20 years if a proposal backed by key Assembly Democrats becomes law. And that’s just one of a slew of college affordability bills...

What do you want to know about the cost of college? Send us a video.

With student debt soaring, consumer champion Seth Frotman has taken his federal fight against predatory lending to the state level in California.

Jeanny Morris had a 1-year-old baby and a resume of dead-end retail jobs when she enrolled in the Marinello Schools of Beauty cosmetology program in 2012. She used her welfare benefits to pay for...

A bill by Assemblyman Phil Ting would bar colleges and universities from receiving state financial aid dollars if they give preference to applicants with ties to alumni or donors. Proposed…

If the plight of hungry and homeless college students has lately caught the national media’s attention, it’s in no small part due to the efforts of Temple University professor Sara Goldrick-Rab. ...

As UC reacts to the college cheating scandal, some urge them to lock the side door, reconsider the SAT and ACT for admissions and scrutinize athletic recruiting.

California is funding immigration attorneys for students and their families as federal courts weigh the fate of DACA and politicians battle over border enforcement.

New legislation would make major changes to the standards for-profit colleges must meet to operate in California, and the state bureau regulating the industry has been reorganized.

Tuition-free community college programs are springing up around the country, including in California. But to many struggling students, “free” doesn’t really mean free.

Heather Hiles, founder of Pathbrite and a Newsom appointee when he was San Francisco mayor, will run the controversial new online college signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

UC Berkeley is matching graduate students looking for housing with retirees who have extra space in their homes. The program's organizers hope it will prove successful enough to export to…

San Francisco automatically sets up college savings accounts for every kindergartner in its public schools. If Governor Gavin Newsom gets his way, the model could soon roll out to other…

There's a surge of California interest in the idea of a state-run bank to support the weed market and fund student loans and affordable housing. But would it work?

Sixty-three percent of adult Californians, including majorities of both Democrats and Republicans, say the state should establish a minimum spending level for the two systems, according to the Public Policy…

California notched another legal victory Thursday in its bid to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation, as a federal appeals court agreed with the state’s...

Former ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis will become California’s first woman elected lieutenant governor, charging to victory over state Sen. Ed Hernandez in a race that pitted her campaign...

The University of California this week is weathering its second strike in a year, the latest skirmish in an ongoing conflict over how the state’s third-largest employer should treat its…

Jana Bergevin’s dream was as elusive as it is common: a career in Hollywood. Growing up near Sacramento, she didn’t imagine herself in front of a camera or even behind one. She wanted to be an...

With some for-profit colleges coming under scrutiny in recent years for aggressive recruiting and financial mismanagement, we were curious: What kinds of complaints were students filing with state regulators? And…

California’s sky high housing costs have made it onto this year’s ballot: The state is asking voters to consider a bond that would allow $4 billion to be used on affordable housing. The money would...

For voters who have trouble distinguishing between the positions of lieutenant governor candidates Eleni Kounalakis and Ed Hernandez—or remembering what the so-called “Lite Gov” does, anyway—their backgrounds provide a contrast.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Education’s delay of rules meant to protect student loan borrowers from predatory practices was “arbitrary and capricious,” granting a...

The idea of a Cal State campus has captured the imagination of the Central Valley city of Stockton. But it's an open question whether California lawmakers and the California State…

The tuition decrease University of California regents are set to vote on amounts to only $60 per year—about the cost of a used textbook. More significant, perhaps, is that student…

Some Native American tribes accuse the University of California of delaying the legally required return of bones, and are pushing state legislation to force UC to speed its efforts.

While the Trump administration caused a stir when it reversed policies encouraging affirmative action in higher ed, California’s public universities have been banned from using race in admissions for more…

Like a burrito with too many jalapeños, Gov. Jerry Brown’s recent comments that higher education in California should be more like Chipotle—with a limited menu of courses—gave some people indigestion.…

California’s public universities will get an infusion of cash to increase enrollment, smooth students’ progress toward graduation and repair aging buildings under a state budget agreement reached today by Gov.…

Calling the political vetting of federal research grant applications “a significant threat to academic freedom,” UC faculty are urging the university to better track whether and why its proposals are…

As state funding has decreased and enrollment has soared, University of California campuses are struggling to deal with many instances of overcrowded lectures, deteriorating buildings and delayed construction. Now the…

As the stigma of mental health care fades, California students want more campus services to help them cope with college life.

It's a reality all too familiar to California college students: trying to find a home on a student budget in a housing market gone berserk.

At most University of California campuses, Latinos comprise less than 10 percent of faculty—in a state where Latinos make up nearly a quarter of UC undergrads and more than half…

A bill under consideration in the California legislature would allow local school boards to replace standardized tests given in 11th grade with a college entrance exam like the SAT or…

Gov. Jerry Brown faces challenges to convince the Legislature and a skeptical community college faculty that online education is the key to reaching the 2.5 million Californians aged 25 to…

After months of controversy over far-right speakers on the UC Berkeley campus, the US Department of Justice has weighed in. Attorneys for the department filed a brief Thursday in support…

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