Students return amid rocky time for higher ed industry

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

No other city transforms like Boston this time of year, and the scenes are all around us: Returning college students driving U-Hauls, moving into dorms and re-connecting after a summer back home What’s different this September is the nationwide focus on higher education, from the cost, the debt to the payoff.

On Baystate Road in Kenmore Square, trucks packed with mini fridges and microwaves line the streets in the shadow of the Citgo sign.

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At last count, more than 300 colleges and universities had vacant seats to start this school year, according to the National Association for College Admissions. The number of high school graduates is declining. At the same time, competition from new online alternatives is increasing, and students are increasingly price-conscious.

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