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Study Questions Whether Elite College Courses Are of Higher Quality Than Others

DENVER — The public — and heck, many people in higher education — widely assume prestigious colleges and universities provide the best quality education. That’s why employers often want to hire their graduates and why many parents want their children to attend them.

And the assumption partially explains the fascination from the media and others in recent years with massive open online courses from Harvard and Stanford and other elite universities: the courses were believed, rightly or wrongly, to be of higher quality than all other online courses precisely because they came from name-brand institutions.