American higher education has long been considered the best in the world. But growing concerns about the cost and quality of a college education, lackluster completion rates, and ballooning student debt have raised questions about the sustainability of our traditional approach to postsecondary education. Can the policies and institutions that served us for most of the 20th century answer the demands of the 21st without fundamental reform? AEI’s Center on Higher Education Reform (CHER) conducts independent, data-driven research and policy analysis designed to inform policymaking and shape the reform conversation to improve the educational opportunities of the next generation.
A set of core principles will guide CHER’s work:
- Options and Choice. In a changing economy, students need an array of postsecondary options and the information necessary to find the program that fits their specific goals, academic needs, and budget.
- Shared Responsibility. Just as students must be prepared for college-level work, colleges must be prepared to provide students high-quality educational opportunities necessary for their future careers.
- Productivity and Sustainability. Funding and financial aid policies should provide incentives for institutions and students to spend public investments wisely to balance the changing needs of students, taxpayers, and other stakeholders.
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation. To enhance postsecondary performance while limiting costs, reformers must rethink regulatory policies that inhibit innovation and limit competition among traditional and nontraditional education providers.