Education Planning Guide: Higher Ed -- Changing by Degrees

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Higher education today is in a state of change, prompted by evolving technology, student needs and costs.

Today's Education Planning Guide looks at the impact of some major trends -- now and into the future -- on students and families navigating higher education choices:

Major universities seeing surge of interest in free online classes

Pitt is among major universities beginning to expand free online courses to eager masses.

Overcoming obstacles: Colleges open doors for nontraditional students

The obstacles -- for traditional and nontraditional students alike -- can include finances, time, transportation, academic preparedness and physical disabilities. A variety of programs are aimed at breaking down those barriers and making job training and academic programs attainable.

The ever-increasing cost of higher education

The ever-increasing price of higher education seems almost as certain as death and taxes. In the College Board's most recent report on undergraduate college pricing from last fall, published tuition and fees -- known as the sticker price -- continued to rise in 2012-13 across all sectors.

'Need-blind' admissions may be reconsidered by colleges

With skyrocketing student debt and limited college endowments, some colleges are reconsidering whether a "need-blind" admissions policy is the best use of resources, both for the school and the student.

Being connected at all times: Blessing and curse?

Gone are the days when college students spent hours poring over only print textbooks or shut the book on learning once they left the classroom. Course management systems, electronic textbooks, mobile devices and other trends in technology are changing the way students approach education.

Many students are getting degrees without setting foot on campus

As universities expand online programs, students from San Francisco to Cape Town can get a degree from a local university without stepping foot on campus.

Schools amplifying efforts to measure performance

Colleges and universities long have sought the seal of approval from accrediting agencies. Now schools increasingly are being held publicly accountable for results as students and their families try to see if they are getting their money's worth.

Want more higher ed info? Check out these links

Visit these websites providing information that helps consumers learn more about their higher education choices.



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