What is the Triad?
The process of regulating and guaranteeing the quality of higher education in the U.S. is complex and involves a number of distinct parties. The Higher Education Act (HEA) designates three separate entities—states, accreditation agencies, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED)—that must grant institutions of higher education (IHEs) approval in order for them to be eligible to participate in federal financial aid programs, like federal student loans and the Pell Grant program. Together, these three gatekeepers comprise what is commonly referred to as “the Triad” in higher education.
Looking for a refresher on higher education accountability? Read our resource, “101: Higher Education and the Triad,” which provides a quick “who’s who” of federal higher education accountability and the complex system of checks and balances we use to hold colleges accountable.