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Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are classes that anyone can take anywhere in the world -- for free. They've grown increasingly popular, but does that popularity threaten traditional higher education? 

College for America is an online degree program with no classes, no professors, and no credit hours. Offered through Southern New Hampshire University, the $10,000 degree program relies on students' skills to award credit. The program was recently featured as part of PBS NewsHour's Rethinking College series.

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School is almost back in session, and high school juniors and seniors are looking at colleges, trying to find the best fit. Families often turn to rankings, like U.S. News & World Report. But this year, Washington Monthly magazine is out with a different kind of college ranking, one where neither Harvard nor Stanford come out on top. Editor Paul Glastris calls it the "Bang for the Buck" list. 

As families pack the 18-year-olds off for college right about now, they've hopefully confronted the cost of tuition, room and board, and health care. Then there's the cost of textbooks. One estimate figures the average is $600 for books and materials per year, another estimate runs twice that. Some students save money by renting or buying used textbooks. Others, given the cost, don't get the books at all.

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Summer melt. That's what college counselors call it when high school students make a tuition deposit at the end of their senior year, but don't start their freshman year in college. It's a major problem in the U.S., especially for low-income, first generation college students. Now, a Boston-based nonprofit is taking a tech-savvy approach to combat summer melt.

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While the U.S. still finds itself tangled in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, colleges and universities are expecting an influx of veterans and they are preparing to welcome them onto their campuses.

Boston is bracing for the annual influx of college students returning for the fall semester. But when the moving vans roll into town, many of them will pull up outside apartment buildings rather than dorms. Mayor Marty Walsh says he'd like to see Boston’s entire student population living on-campus, and while that could be a reality for one area college, others have a long way to go.

Call it a sign of the times that right along with required writing core courses, incoming freshmen at most schools this fall will also face a mandatory crash course on the subject of sexual assault.

At a Rutgers University orientation, for example, every freshman sits through a dramatization of the campus party scene that is as real as it is raw. In the performance, a character, Jess, winds up in fellow student Ryan's room, resisting his advances. Ryan persists and gets increasingly angry and aggressive. The scene ends with the Jess character wailing, and with students in the audience wide-eyed and stunned.

The odds that students will graduate from college are neither improved nor worsened when they go to schools with average admission test scores higher or lower than theirs, according to a new study.

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Months after he resigned, the former president of Westfield State is now being sued for allegedly misusing school funds. 

On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley accused Evan Dobelle of spending nearly $100,000 on personal expenses and family vacations.

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