Policymakers Shouldn’t Repeal College State Authorization Rules
Part of a Series
The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed H.R. 2117 last week, a bill that would repeal two regulations the Department of Education promulgated as part of its effort to ensure the integrity of postsecondary education programs that receive federal financial aid. The bill, introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), retracts the department’s definition of the credit hour and its requirement that all colleges seek authorization from the states in which they operate. Many of the major associations that represent colleges and universities support the bill.
There are legitimate reasons to think that the Education Department’s definition of the credit hour is not ideal, as we wrote last year. And colleges are right to worry about the implementation of the state authorization rules. But policymakers should be working with the department to implement these rules in a sensible way—not trying to repeal them altogether.
The integrity of American higher education is in question these days, and not just for-profit colleges. It’s clear that all institutions need to start shaping up, considering the stagnant degree completion rates, evidence that students do not learn very much, and the growing cost to consumers and to the government. The credit hour and state authorization rules address gaping holes in our higher education system. Through these rules, the department will improve the quality and integrity of the system without infringing on colleges’ autonomy or causing them undue expense.
For more on this topic, please see:
- Repealing Rules Helps Colleges but Hurts Students by Julie Margetta Morgan