What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?

It’s no secret that higher ed reformers have struggled to offer a compelling alternative to free college and loan forgiveness offered from the left. This failure is partially because conservatives and libertarians are usually on the defensive about higher ed policy. In response to that problem, the American Enterprise Institute organized a panel discussion titled … Continue reading “What Policies Are Conservatives Actually For in Higher Education?”


Did You Know? Ed Dept. Punts on Accreditation Rules for Online Classes

Accreditation agencies have the responsibility of judging whether colleges are offering students a quality education. Since COVID-19, however, their biggest changes have been to dismiss concerns about short-changing students. This change can be seen most clearly with online classes. Ordinarily, accreditation standards would ensure educational quality, and schools that cut corners would risk penalties and … Continue reading “Did You Know? Ed Dept. Punts on Accreditation Rules for Online Classes”


America Needs a GED Equivalent for a College Degree

As higher education undergoes dramatic changes thanks to the coronavirus, reformers should aim higher than expanding online education. Now is a propitious time to end the dominance of accreditation agencies in higher ed and create a GED-like equivalency exam for a college degree. Many students want a traditional college life: living on campus for four … Continue reading “America Needs a GED Equivalent for a College Degree”


Russell Kirk on Higher Education

Russell Kirk isn’t known as a policy wonk. The Great Books, not the mathematical or statistical models of economic technicians, were his organon of choice. He devoted essays to broad, perennial themes like “the moral imagination,” “liberal learning,” and “the permanent things.” Read his numerous columns about higher education, however, and you might come away … Continue reading “Russell Kirk on Higher Education”


‘Baby Bonds’ Would Skyrocket College Costs, Bilk Taxpayers for Billions

For too many politicians and presidential hopefuls, a free college education is a cure-all for inequality in America—so long as the federal government can pour enough money into it. Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), for instance, has opted to make “baby bonds” the centerpiece of his campaign. Under this policy, fleshed out in … Continue reading “‘Baby Bonds’ Would Skyrocket College Costs, Bilk Taxpayers for Billions”


Our Accreditation System Has Bennett College Struggling for Life

Founded in 1873 in Greensboro, North Carolina, Bennett College is one only two of historically black colleges just for women. It has been a four-year college since 1926, but in recent years it has, like so many other small, private colleges, found survival increasingly difficult. The school’s enrollment fell from 780 students in 2010 to … Continue reading “Our Accreditation System Has Bennett College Struggling for Life”


The Radical Experimental College in the Blue Ridge Mountains

North Carolina is widely respected for institutions such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, both research-intensive and high-prestige schools. But it’s less known for a radically experimental college that was tucked away in the Appalachian mountains more than half a century ago. Just east of Asheville, Black Mountain College … Continue reading “The Radical Experimental College in the Blue Ridge Mountains”


Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills

Often, the strongest criticisms of higher education come from insiders. One insider is Daniel Johnson, who retired as president of the University of Toledo in 2006 after an academic career that included several senior leadership positions. He has recently published a book, The Uncertain Future of American Public Higher Education, that illuminates many of the … Continue reading “Former University President Nails Many of Higher Education’s Ills”


A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill

In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act into law, inserting the federal government irrevocably into the inner workings of America’s colleges and universities. The bill increased federal money given to universities, provided scholarships, and created the federal student loan system—now a $100 billion yearly enterprise. Since then, the Act has been reauthorized … Continue reading “A Promising Chance at Reform with Congressional Higher Ed Bill”


The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor

The final year of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration is noteworthy for all its carnage. In September, the large ITT Tech chain of schools, which had operated in 38 states, was forced to close when Department officials shut off its access to federal student aid. That decision, which I wrote about … Continue reading “The Department of Education De-Accredits an Accreditor”