Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement on the Final ED Rule on Accrediting Agencies

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2019) — Today, Emily Bouck West, Deputy Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, released a statement on the final rule on accrediting agencies regulations by the U.S. Department of Education (ED):

“Today’s final accreditation regulation fails to help today’s students. Today’s students deserve a transparent accreditation system where federal policy ensures accreditors focus on uplifting high-quality education. But these final regulations are a step backward and no longer hold accreditors to ‘sufficiently rigorous standards,’ possibly leading to poor outcomes and low-quality postsecondary programs. This regulation contrasts with the College Affordability Act passed by the House earlier today which places a premium on student outcomes in assessing institutions of higher education.

ED continues to miss the mark in supporting a strong higher education quality assurance triad. Instead of walking away from needed quality assurance, federal policy should require agencies to set rigorous standards on student outcomes, monitor and measure progress towards meeting standards, and hold institutions of higher education accountable for student success.”


Higher Learning Advocates is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to shift federal policy from higher education to higher learning—education and training beyond high school that leads to a degree, credential, or employment. While more students are participating in higher education than ever before, there is a vast and growing disconnect between federal policy and the needs of today’s students, employers, and communities. We are working toward federal policies that create transparent pathways to success, incentivize innovation, protect students and taxpayers, and improve outcomes.