NPR recently released its predictions for U.S. education as we start 2018. If they come true, our nation's education system will be undergoing some serious changes.

One of the first things they predicted is the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which has protected 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation. If these immigrants are deported, K-12 schools will see a massive exodus of students. It would be a similar story for our colleges, too, which have approximately 241,000 DACA students enrolled in them.

Even if they are not deported right away, they will have to leave the country eventually. This will impact our schools and our workforce.

NPR's other predictions include the worsening of the student financial aid crisis, the issue of race in admissions policies, and problems of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace. The scaling back of federal oversight may offer local districts more decision-making powers, but the achievement gap between rich and poor, black and white will remain wide.

Finally, NPR expects U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to step down. Questionable opinions and lack of support for public schools will further lead to deteriorating relations between her and state education officials.

Now that we have looked at the dire predictions, it's time to look at a few other trends highlighted by Capterra.

1. Augmented reality will open a new medium for teaching students. It has immense potential to enhance learning, collaborations and classroom interactions. It is also said to motivate students and help them maintain a positive attitude to learning. Several AR education apps are being used in universities and colleges, though not as a mainstream medium of education ... yet.

2. Per the college board, higher education costs will continue to rise this year. Along with increasing room and board costs, there will be at least a 2.9 percent increase in tuition and fees. This will result in declining college enrollment rates and will have adverse ripple effects across all walks of life like jobs, housing and consumer spending.

3. The above trend will impact the rise of niche learning and certifications. Growing job supply in specific industries like cybersecurity and legal marijuana will lead to an increase of microcredentialism. We will see more vocational training institutes, and schools are already partnering with industries that need skilled laborers to streamline the flow of students from degrees to jobs.

4. Online and blended learning will continue to grow in importance. This will, in turn, lead to an increased demand for advanced technologies and apps in the classroom. District and school investment will be affected as a result. There will also be a rise in demand for refurbished technology to create a balance between tech needs and limited budgets.

Other notable education trends for 2018 as predicted by education experts:

  • Strategic student enrollment will offer parents more school choices.
  • There will more personalized professional development programs available for teachers.
  • There will be an increase in assessment audits so that testing redundancies are reduced and more time can be devoted to learning.
  • Intervention programs and student support groups will set up to combat chronic absenteeism.
  • More schools will adopt social and emotional learning (SEL) programs that will include modules like personal responsibility, building relationships, self-management and healthy decision-making. Students will learn these much-needed skills as a part of their regular curriculum.