Congresswoman Wilson Introduces the Quality Higher Education Act
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson has introduced the Quality Higher Education Act (H.R. 4579), which enhances the accreditation system to ensure that colleges are graduating students with meaningful degrees and preparing them for workplace success. The legislation includes measures that would require accreditors to set rigorous standards and performance benchmarks based on completion and workforce participation for the schools they oversee; disaggregate student data to make it clear whether colleges are serving all students well, including minority students and those from low-income families; and require accreditors to be more transparent about how they evaluate schools.
Each year, 13 million students receive roughly $130 billion in federal aid to help finance their higher education. Unfortunately, only 58 percent of those students manage to complete their degree within six years. Students who don’t graduate are more likely to default on their loans, endangering their long-term financial stability.
“When students make tough decisions about what college to attend, they trust that if a school is accredited, it will be able to provide them with the skills and knowledge needed for their chosen career path. It’s crucial that all schools meet the same high-quality standards to retain accreditation, and that if they’re not adequality serving all student populations, it’s clear to them and prospective students what they must do to improve,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Given the skyrocketing cost of higher education and unprecedented levels of student debt, the stakes have never been higher.”
The Quality Higher Education Act has been endorsed by the Center for American Progress, Third Way, New America, and Higher Learning Advocates. A fact sheet can be found here.