The decentralized nature of our higher education system means there is no single entity charged with judging the quality of colleges and universities. Learn more about our Accreditation work.
The decentralized nature of our higher education system means there is no single entity charged with judging the quality of colleges and universities. Instead, we rely on a series of non-governmental accreditation agencies to oversee colleges across the country, requiring one of them to give their stamp of approval before a school can receive federal student loans and grants. This system is insufficient to provide the degree of oversight or encourage the amount of transparency we need for a successful higher education system today. Accreditation reports are shrouded in secrecy and rarely disclosed. Schools that get into trouble are placed into one of a seemingly innumerable levels of probation but rarely, if ever, actually lose their accreditation. Universities are judged on a set of standards and goals they set and are not required to disclose anything pertaining to student learning.
Our work in this area addresses the shortcomings of the accreditation system and considers ways to reform it or replace it with a better system of oversight.