Kimberly Payton, a teacher at the Small Savers Child Development Center, reads to a group of preschoolers in Washington, D.C., in 2010. Researchers say that teachers who make small changes in how they read to 4-year-olds can improve kids' reading skills later on. Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

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How much are they paying? Chuck Zovko/courtesy Lafayette College hide caption

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Planet Money

The Real Price Of College

There's a huge gap between the sticker price for college tuition and the price students actually pay. On today's show, we try to figure out why.

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"My mom opened the letter and she called me and told me I got the Marquis Scholarship. And she's like, 'It's a humungous scholarship!'" -Michele Tallarita Jacob Goldstein/NPR hide caption

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Planet Money

How Colleges Fight For Top Students

Colleges use money to woo top students. It's an effective tactic, but it drives up tuition for everyone else.

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Four major universities are joining forces with Coursera, a Silicon Valley startup, to offer free online classes in more than three-dozen subjects. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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President Obama appeared with sixth-grader Keiry Herrera of Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Va., as he spoke about No Child Left Behind last September at the White House. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

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