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  • For –profit institutions among others not happy with the White House’s college rating system framewo
  • Posted By:
  • Karen W.
  • Posted On:
  • 25-Dec-2014
  • Recently, there was a new development when the standoff between for-profit higher education institutions and the White House intensified. The Obama administration announced the rating system long due linking college performance and federal aid which led to sparks. Many for-profit institutions went on the defensive when their almost 86% federal funding was put at stake by this policy change.

    The aim of Barack Obama’s college rating system is clear. It wants schools to be held accountable for the success of its students. According to the framework, factors that will be taken into consideration for evaluation include outcome, affordability and access. For schools that have a lot at stake, these are definitely controversial metrics. 

    There is a lot of scepticism among politicians, higher education organizations, administrators and critics as to whether the government should be doing this at all and whether it is possible to actually measure the value of colleges.

    Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities president Steve Gunderson said that the very fact that after years of work, the education department is unable to come out with a clear strategy, it proves the traditional view point that while college rating system is actually a good thing in theory, practically speaking, creating metrics to measure quality of higher education across the country is definitely not feasible. He went on to say that if this rating system comes into effect, it would only compound the challenges faced by students and families in making the right choice.

    This is not the first time for profit schools have come under fire during the Obama administration. In the month of November, the government threatened career training program funding through the gainful employment rules if students passing out from the institutions did not make enough money after graduation to pay off their loans.

    Student income depended on various factors that were completely out of their control, said a group of private colleges who challenged these arbitrary, unlawful and irrational regulations legally.
    Some for-profit colleges were exposed by the media for deceiving applicants. These colleges rigged job placement statistics and promised applicants positions they were not even qualified for. Loan policies of the Corinthian Colleges Inc. are under scanner by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    A college’s rating could be drawn down severely by the President’s rating system by commuter students who are included in the net price even though they do not pay for room and board. Schools with large commuter populations could face this issue.

    Moving forward, there is a general feeling that there is a lot of time for the rating system to come into effect. After congressional approval, 2018 is the earliest the system linking performance and funding could be implemented. Some college administrators feel that students definitely do not take this type of data into account as they select colleges.

    The impact of this system is yet to be seen. If it benefits students by and large, it is a good thing. Our students struggling with massive loans and many who do not get good education in proportion to money spent will definitely be benefited.


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