Should universities prove their worth in light of tuition increases?

Although it's never been more important to earn a college degree, the rising cost of education is still a concern for many students. In an article published by the Huffington Post, one education expert says that colleges should have to demonstrate that expensive degree programs are worth the money.

"For the vast majority of colleges, however, the time has come to prove their worth if they have any plans to continue the price increases of the past several years," Jeff Selingo, an award-winning journalist and education expert, wrote in the article. "Students want to know if their experience will be rigorous enough to justify the cost and reap the rewards in the job market."

Selingo's comments echo the concerns of students across the country. More seniors are filling out college applications than ever before, and many colleges are becoming increasingly selective.

Some schools, such as Harvard University, continue to receive record numbers of college applications. According to Bloomberg, Harvard received more than 35,000 applications last year, a 15 percent increase from 2010.

If you're considering filling out a college application, don't be discouraged from applying to prestigious schools – but be realistic, and have some back-up or safety schools in mind, too.

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