What’s the Federal Role in Assessing College ‘Value’? | Inside Higher Ed


Students and state and federal governments alike are asking increasingly hard questions about the return on their investment in postsecondary education, as tuitions and debt grow.

In this week’s episode of The Key, Inside Higher Ed‘s news and analysis podcast, three experts with a diverse set of perspectives discuss the government role in ensuring value from academic institutions and programs. Among the topics they explore: the complexity of any attempt to formally measure postsecondary value, the importance of focusing on historically underrepresented students and the centrality of the federal role in holding colleges accountable.

The episode, which is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, features discussions with Jamienne S. Studley, president and CEO of the WASC Senior College and University Commission, an accrediting agency; Kim Hunter Reed, former senior Education Department official and now commissioner of higher education in Louisiana; and Barbara Mistick, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, which has historically bristled at federal attempts to regulate higher education too closely.

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