Fresh Perspectives on Higher Learning

Insights & Outlooks

Reforming Higher Education Accreditation Policy

Quality & Outcomes
Reforming Higher Education Accreditation Policy

Today’s students deserve a system of higher education that delivers high-quality results and a guarantee of economic success and upward mobility. The key to assuring higher education quality in the U.S. is accreditation, the complex system used by the Federal government as a gate-keeping mechanism to over $130 billion annually in federal student aid. But federal accreditation policy has become almost entirely focused on compliance and bureaucratic procedures, instead of what counts: student outcomes and results.

Our New Proposal

Today, Higher Learning Advocates released a new brief, The Keys to Quality: Reforming Higher Education Accreditation Policy, containing our federal policy recommendations for reforming current accreditation measures. Our proposal focuses on four key policy changes.

  • Raise the bar for student outcomes and focus accreditors on graduation rates, default rates and loan repayment.
  • Enable differentiated, risk-based accreditation reviews.
  • Make the accreditation process more transparent.
  • Enable institutions to respond to local workforce needs more quickly.

It’s time to reform higher education accreditation policies to better serve today’s students. 

Learn about our plan and read the entire brief here.