Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policy Makers Can Do About It

Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policy Makers Can Do About It

A new policy paper from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni criticizes the federal system of higher education accreditation and calls on policy makers to initiate systemwide reform. According to the report, Why Accreditation Doesn't Work and What Policymakers Can Do About It (32 pages, PDF), accreditation undermines institutional autonomy and diversity, fails to guarantee academic quality, and gives students, parents, and public decision makers almost no useful information about institutions of higher education. Among other actions intended to break the monopoly of accreditation agencies, the paper recommends amending the Higher Education Act to sever the link between accreditation and federal student aid.