Higher Education

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One way to reform American higher education is to create a separate and streamlined path for new organizations that wish to access federal student aid before they achieve official accreditation.

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Fixing higher education means recognizing that all institutions, not just for-profits, face flawed incentives, and working to rectify those.

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Higher ed reformers need to be cognizant of the strengths and weaknesses of the institutions they rely on to accomplish their goals.

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Covering an education story today? Here’s the latest from the experts on the AEI education team.

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“Reinventing Financial Aid” presents innovations designed to improve grant and loan programs and how students can access them. Pushing past current debates, it also challenges leaders to think more boldly about policy design, examine the assumptions and incentives in the current system, and lay the groundwork for a fundamental rethinking of student aid programs.

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Education reformers should think more broadly about who can act as authorizers and accreditors of academic quality, who bears the risk when students fail to pay back their loans, and how to best equip consumers to choose the right universities or colleges.

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The ratings system must make sure colleges are not rewarded for the students that they enroll, but for the education that they provide. Also, it is much easier for colleges to change the students that they enroll than it is to change the quality of education that they provide.

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Sens. Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, and Richard Blumenthal discuss student loans in a  Generation Progress video chat on June 3, 2014, .

Democrats face an uphill battle in their quest to hold the Senate in November. In their effort to get an edge, they’ve targeted one group in particular: college-educated voters with student-loan debt. Democratic plans to help student-loan borrowers have been a key talking point on the campaign trail this year, and sit at the center of the party’s “Fair Shot” agenda.

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As long as we continue to define “the best colleges” as those that enroll the best students–as opposed to those that teach their students the most or deliver the best return on investment–rankings competition will do little to expand educational opportunity.

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Is it “dangerous” to break up the college cartel?

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