The real headline isn't in the story but in the comments. "Is Pearson now in the business of awarding degrees?" asks Betsy Smith. Well, what if they are? What happens should the major publishers and content compabies obtain permission to grant degrees? The crisis that has been stalking higher education for more than a decade would suddenly appear as though overnight. Something like this is coming. If not today, if not with this contract, then some time, with some contract. When the education is offered for free to students, as in this case, it's hard to say no to the enabling factors.