[STATEMENT] Higher Learning Advocates Responds to Department of Education’s Regulatory Proposals

Smarter Regulations Can Promote Quality and Innovation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 30, 2018) — Today, Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, released a statement responding to the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement of a negotiated rulemaking session that could affect a wide range of higher education regulations:

“Rethinking regulations represents an opportunity to strengthen and grow innovative delivery models, such as competency-based education, that can serve today’s students well, strengthen the workforce and improve outcomes. It is also an opportunity to ensure that quality and student success are at the center of policymaking, and that there are guardrails to protect students’ interests. Too often, quality and innovation are pitted against each other in the national discourse around higher education policy: a dynamic that serves neither students, institutions, or other higher education stakeholders. That does not need to be the case.  

There are also opportunities to improve existing regulations that affect accreditation as well as the process for recognizing accreditors. Specifically, the federal role in accreditation should shift to a stronger focus on quality, instead of compliance, and have clearer performance targets for institutions who benefit from participation in federal financial aid.

Finally, it’s important to remember during these discussions that students, institutions and other stakeholders need smarter regulations— not simply fewer regulations. As negotiators consider changes with far-reaching implications for students and taxpayers, it’s vital that we maintain quality protections for students and build a quality assurance system for institutions and alternative providers alike that is transparent, fair and centered on student outcomes. We appreciate the Department of Education’s interest in these critical issues. Higher Learning Advocates will continue to advocate for efficient and streamlined federal regulations that can create space for innovative providers while protecting students and improving outcomes.”


Higher Learning Advocates is a non-profit 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.

CONTACT: Ted Eismeier, teismeier@higherlearningadvocates.org