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Oct 13

Regulating the College Dream: Obstacles in the Way to Upward Mobility

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Despite claims by President Obama that the United States should lead theworld in the number of college graduates by the year 2020, his administration’s efforts to regulate higher education could limit America’s ability to achieve this goal. New rules proposed by the Department of Education, which could go into effect as soon as November 1, 2010, may have a detrimental effect on higher education institutions across the country and create another barrier to entry for students seeking college education. These new rules concerning institutional accreditation and students’ “gainful employment” could lead to unintended consequences for higher education.

Whether it’s through new, powerful state accrediting authority, federal definitions of credit hours, or what amounts to price controls imposed through gainful employment measures, the Obama Administration appears intent on limiting the growth of for-profit colleges. These institutions meet the needs of a cross-section of students historically underserved by traditional four-year institutions. But it’s not just for-profit schools that could be affected. In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, former Senator Bill Armstrong, now President of Colorado Christian University, expressed concern that the proposed rules would “subject both public (government owned and operated) colleges and universities and private schools to ‘substantive’ regulation by state government.”

Dr. Richard Vedder is a Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio University and Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Dr. Vedder studies higher education financing, labor economics, immigration, government fiscal policy and income inequality. He is the author of several books, including Going Broke by Degree, and The Wal-Mart Revolution: How Big Box Stores Benefit Consumers, Workers, and the Economy (with Wendell Cox). Dr. Richard Bishirjian is President and Professor of Government at Yorktown University. Dr. Bishirjian specializes in analysis of modern ideologies, 19th Century philosophy and political theory. His interests include American Government and Constitutional Law, Ethics, and the problem of secularization of Western culture. He is the author of more than thirty-five professional essays and reviews in the field of political theory and serves as an Editorial Advisor, and frequent contributor, to the quarterly journal founded by Russell Kirk, Modern Age.

More About the Speakers

Dr. Richard Vedder
Distinguished Professor of Economics, Ohio University

Dr. Richard Bishirjian
President and Professor of Government, Yorktown University

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Lindsey Burke Lindsey Burke

Will Skillman Fellow in Education Read More