Report: Congress should reform college accreditation to save students, taxpayers

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

As Congress embarks on its mission to reauthorize the law that governs the flow of federal financial aid dollars, some education experts say the government has been ineffective in ensuring the quality of the nation's colleges and universities.

In a paper released Monday, Hank Brown, a former U.S. congressman, senator and president of the University of Colorado, writes that the nation's accreditation system is a "public policy and regulatory failure by almost any measure." And as Congress begins the process to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, which outlines the role of accrediting agencies, Brown argues that lawmakers should consider reforms ranging from expanding the number of accrediting agencies to separating an institution's eligibility for federal funding from the accreditation process.

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