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With the final weeks of the year approaching, we at Higher Ed Dive took a look back at the stories and trends that have resonated most with our readers in 2022 — and some of the insights that are important to understand.

A few themes emerged. College leaders are clearly concerned about the health of the sector in the face of long-unfolding changes in who is enrolling, where they come from, and how much they are willing to pay. Stories on college closures are constantly big news. So too is coverage of how institutions are working to attract new students in the future.

The regulatory environment captured attention this year thanks in large part to one big case, a recently approved $6 billion settlement in the Sweet v. Cardona debt forgiveness lawsuit. This probably shouldn’t be a surprise, as it fits into the Biden administration’s emphasis on student loan reform and involves a particularly noteworthy set of circumstances, including allegations of wrongdoing by colleges, claims the U.S. Department of Education didn’t do its job, and billions of dollars in student loan forgiveness.

A few other major news themes kept showing up: questions about the future of ed tech and for-profit higher education, the now-powerful admissions test-optional movement, and blows against the college rankings system that’s currently dominated by U.S. News and World report.

We curated links to stories covering these trends and insights. The resulting list, presented below, isn’t ordered by popularity, although it is made up of many of our best-read pieces. Instead, it spans our strongest news coverage, feature stories, opinion pieces and running lists of important developments in running news stories. Taken together, we believe it showcases some of our best work while also providing an opportunity to reflect on the past year and prepare for the new one as it approaches.