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A Program for Higher Education Reform and Lower Tuition Costs

October 26, 2010

American higher education abandoned its civic responsibilities when it jettisoned required curricula in the 1960s and 1970s.  As a result, our colleges and universities are turning out college graduates who know nothing about American government, American history, and the economic system of the United States that has made America the economic powerhouse of the world.

A free and independent country that does not educate its citizens for responsible citizenship will lose its freedoms and independence and that compels us to reform higher education.

In order to reverse this educational decline, reform of American higher education must be directed at the following three aspects of the American system of higher education:


  1. Reform the system of accreditation that protects bricks and mortar institutions from competition from low cost providers using new technologies.

  3. Reduce the increased role of the federal government in higher education significantly and

  5. Reduce the cost of a college education–now.


Currently it can take as long as fifteen years to attain regional accreditation.  The system of regional accreditation was established in the 19th century and now serves to protect institutions with an investment in bricks and mortar from competition from low cost providers.

Of the six regional accrediting associations, none now accredit for profit Internet institutions and none allow the transfer of ownership of failing regionally accredited colleges to for profit institutions.  A system that blocks innovation such as that presented by new technologies must be changed and the best way to do that is to create a regional association solely equipped to accredit Internet institutions.

Other regional associations that do not recognize those institutions accredited by a new regional accrediting association should be held accountable by the U.S. Justice Department and by the Attorney Generals of the states.

Reducing the Role of the Federal Government:

The best way to reduce the role of the federal government is to break the connection between accreditation and Title IV participation.  Currently the U.S. Department of Education regulates those accrediting associations that are Title IV eligible and permits access to Title IV programs only to those institutions that are accredited by Title IV associations.

Remove that connection, allow the Department’s division of Financial Student Aid to determine Title IV eligibility solely on the basis of financial standards and there will be no need for institutions to be accredited in order to participate in Title IV programs.  Accreditation may then focus on educational standards.

Reducing College Tuition Costs:

A college education costs too much!

There are currently no incentives for university Faculty to adjust to new ways of instruction and, as a result, the culture of higher education rejects new technologies and is resistant to structural changes that will lower the cost of a college education.  As a result, private and public college tuition is too costly and the only solution is to increase competition and to allow competing institutions that are lower in cost to take students away from bricks and mortar colleges and for failing colleges to transfer ownership to for-profit education companies.

Today the only source of competition and lower tuition costs comes from the for-profit Internet-based sector.  If that sector is to thrive, the following must occur:


  1. Maintain access to participation in Title IV programs by all eligible institutions—including for-profit colleges;

  3. Eliminate all barriers to regional accreditation and reduce the time it takes to achieve regional accreditation to three years;

  5. Measure academic credits by reference to learning outcomes, not instructional hours;

  7. Eliminate the federal government’s ability to politicize higher education by threats of loss of charters of accrediting agencies.

  9. Ban any and all negotiated rule-making by the U.S. Department of Education.
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