“The University Next Door” draws much-needed attention to comprehensive universities, which have historically received little notice yet play an important role in meeting our new attainment goals and helping the American economy grow.
As Republicans prepare to take control of Congress, they should make a priority of higher education, which has never been prominent on the conservative agenda but should become so now.
Better student outcomes data would not cure every market distortion created by government’s involvement in higher education. But it would help consumers’ market discipline. And a more competitive market would actually reduce government intervention in the sector.
At most, higher education has been on the agenda in about half of the races for governor and senator. Where it has come up, the discussion has been more of the same crowd-pleasing themes that are all too familiar—more funding, new scholarships, lower interest rates on new student loans, and loan relief for current borrowers.
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.
Fixing higher education means recognizing that all institutions, not just for-profits, face flawed incentives, and working to rectify those.
Higher ed reformers need to be cognizant of the strengths and weaknesses of the institutions they rely on to accomplish their goals.
Covering an education story today? Here’s the latest from the experts on the AEI education team.
“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.
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.