GOT TO BE ANOTHER WAY: The federal government doles out $120 billion in financial aid every year, and the requirements for accessing these funds have a significant impact on how colleges and universities operate. The Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based public policy research organization, proposes new guidelines to shape how students and institutions access federal aid. Its new report, “A Quality Alternative: A New Vision for Higher Education Accreditation,” is meant to be a “complementary competitor”—not a replacement—to the existing accreditation system.
The Center’s proposed evaluation model would include three components: High standards for student outcomes and financial health; standards set by private third parties; and data definition, collection, and verification. The report's authors say such a system would encourage "development of new and innovative providers of higher education that bear little resemblance to the stereotypical brick-and-mortar institution." Read the full report here.