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  • Regulating the College Dream

    President Obama wants to see the U.S. lead the world in the number of college graduates by 2020. But new regulations being proposed by the Department of Education would undermine that goal by presenting more obstacles to students seeking to attend the higher education institutions that work best for them. For-profit institutions, which would be most affected by the new regulations, serve a student population that has been underserved by traditional higher education. New regulations pertaining to how colleges are authorized could potentially further burden higher education institutions generally and lead to politicization of curriculum.

    Krista Kafer writes in a new policy paper for the Centennial Institute:

    The proposed regulations, if made final…will mandate a one-size-fits-all federal definition of state authorization…A state legislature or executive agency would then determine whether private colleges and universities will be able to enroll students with federal loans or grants. Such changes would be at best duplicative of the accreditation process – and at worst a pretext for government interference into the curriculum, research, and culture of private academic institutions.

    “Moreover, these regulations imply that each institution of higher education will have to receive authorization from every state in which it has a presence as opposed to just its home state. Because states will likely interpret the regulatory language differently, institutions that operate in more than one state may be subjected to multiple, potentially conflicting requirements. While large institutions may be able to bear the cost of compliance, smaller institutions may find it too burdensome to serve students in more than one state.”

    Tomorrow, the Heritage Foundation will host an event discussing the new regulations: Regulating the College Dream: Obstacles in the Way to Upward Mobility at 2:00 in Lehrman Auditorium. The event will feature Dr. Richard Vedder, a Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University and Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, and Dr. Richard Bishirjian, President and Professor of Government at Yorktown University.

    If President Obama wants to raise the number of college graduates in the U.S., as well as retrain our workforce for industries of the 21st century, for-profit colleges and universities should play a large part of bringing those goals to fruition.  Students should be able to choose what pathway to a higher degree is best for them, and the Department of Education should not throw additional obstacles in their paths.

    Inez Feltscher is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Education, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Regulating the College Dream

    1. Bobbie says:

      Totally agree.

      The youth has been brainwashed to choose to pay to go to college thinking it's a step in the direction of opportunities and success. Because of overweight government, there are few opportunities, few if any will be successful! Government creates opportunities in government only.

      Obama waits anxiously to mandate college! Why the mandate? Today's colleges make up for the fails of grade school government education due to the focus on social engineering, makes up for the loss of progress in the needless, costly, wasted existence of government preschool social education for the sole purpose of accommodating parental neglect.

      Our children deserve better. No force, No feds, no obama influences regarding the free thinking minds of our children are tolerated. No convoluted regulations! The mind is a terrible thing to waste on government controlled limits to education. .

    2. Rich, NJ says:

      Sorry, the pure number of college graduates does not tell us anything as how many as prepared to actually do viable work? How many are being pushed towards college whether they want it of not? There are many other things people can do rather than go to college and can be just as satisfying if not more so. And this is from an over educated College Teacher.

    3. Dennis Georgia says:

      Is there a better way of brain washing our young people?? Federal controll, regulations iomposed on these colleges, and then the "guvment" has controll of what and how is taught in the class room. The supposed Ivey League schools already bend to the liberals as well as the socialist, communist and marxist, just look at the thing of obama and many in congress as well as the czars appointed.

      We are in a h##l of a mess.

    4. Anonymous says:

      Useless degrees from tenured liberal academics for kids squandering mom and dad's money of six years of a four year program… gotta protect that, you know! (If I'm paying for something that I'm earning in order to get a better job, I'll certainly pay attention and work… and if the other guys don't keep up their end of the bargain, I'll go find some folk who do!)

    5. Trea Graham - Pittsb says:

      As an education advocate for 17 years, I have had an opportunity to see some challenges colleges and universities have as pertains to special needs students. What private colleges and universities do not need is more government control. Many private universities have programs for "at risk" students that cost over and above tuition, room, and board. The challenge as regards incoming freshman without special needs is that they enter college without the basic skills needed to advance their education, i.e. vocabulary, grammar, critical thinking, an ability to speak and write clearly, and enough broad knowledge and historical infomation to be able to create their own perspective. Without the tools they need, incoming college students will not succeed.

    6. Drew Page, IL says:

      Tuition at colleges and universities, at least in my home State of Illinois having been increasing at the rate of 10% annually for the past several years. Excluding books, and room and board charges, it still runs about $15,000 a year. I know for a fact that these colleges and universities are not increasing the pay and benefits of staff by 10% annually, so where are the universities spending this tuition money?

      I want my kids and grandkids to be able to get a four year college education at a reasonable cost. I don't care about what kind of a sports program they have, or even if they have a sports program. I don't want to fund new or bigger sports stadiums, or "research projects", or tuition for foreign students, or economically disadvantaged kids. If private industry wants to subsidize university research projects, fine, let them provide the funding. Bigger sports venues, let the boosters pay for that. Tuition subsidies for foreign students should come from those countries. Tuition subsidies for economically disadvantaged students should come from endowments and other scholarship programs set up by alumni, or from various private enterprises.

      Right now, it costs close to $20,000 a year at a state school to cover tuition, fees, room/board and books. If the parents don't have that kind of money they must pursue student loans and that means that a kid out of college (and/or his parents) is looking at a debt of up to $80,000 starting out in life. And it is only going higher. At other than state universities, like Northwestern, North Central College, Bradley, Wheaton College and your tuition costs double. Many parents and individual students will continue to take on these immense financial burdens and then find themselves in a job market that is in decline.

      The colleges and universities in this country are going to find themselves out of customers in short order. They are going to price themselves out of the market. Yes, there will always be wealthy people who can afford whatever tuition costs turn out to be, but that is a very small percentage of the population.

      This administration says it wants to see more college graduates, but what are they doing to make that possible? Offering student loans isn't the answer. someone still has to payoff that mountainous debt.

    7. Tim AZ says:

      This simply puts a bigger bulls eye on the department of education. Add this govt. agency to the list of the many others to be eliminated or severely cut the funding of these govt.agencies that no longer serve the people.

    8. Pingback: Instapundit » Blog Archive » REGULATING the “College dream.”…

    9. Matt P says:

      I'm a recent graduate (May 10), and he's going to kill ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and any incentive to build something from nothing, or sustain an institution. He's worse than a helicopter parent. Legislation does not create jobs (which are naturally formed by businesses doing business). Freedom and possibilities are the things necessary for new economic growth, not more rules. He's nuts.

    10. wGraves - California says:

      For the government to justify the regulation of matriculation, they are forced to argue that the student is too uninformed or too intellectually compromised to make a rational decision. So how is this consistent with the fact that we're sending this kid for a college education. If we are forced to protect the most educated members of society from the evil capitalist pigs through government intervention, then who is going to protect them from their government?

    11. Ted Slowik, North Ce says:

      Just to clarify a point made by Drew Page: Full-time undergraduate tuition for 2010-2011 at North Central College is $27,984, and that's the "sticker price."

      More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid. http://northcentralcollege.edu/x6311.xml

    12. Pingback: Clearwire Launches Initial CLEAR 4G Mobile Internet Service in Central Washington, D.C. Area

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