July 28, 2023
Republicans argue that college prices are too high for inadequate outcomes and that institutions are to blame. Democrats focus their ire on for-profit colleges.
Higher education is in need of innovation, better data for students and new systems to better hold colleges and universities accountable, a panel of witnesses told a House subcommittee Thursday, though they differed on specific solutions.
The hearing focused on the cost of higher education and the value it provides to students and taxpayers. The Republicans on the House higher education subcommittee used the opportunity to criticize the growth of nonteaching staff positions on campuses, increasing tuition costs and their general dissatisfaction with the state of American higher education. Democrats pointed to the need to hold bad actors accountable with a focus on for-profit institutions and voiced concern about the Republicans’ vision of higher education.
“Stronger accountability regulations in higher education also save taxpayers money and prevents federal aid from going to predatory programs,” said Florida representative Frederica Wilson, the top Democrat on the subcommittee. “Far too many tax dollars have gone to dishonest for-profit colleges that heavily rely on federal student aid funding and then they target underrepresented students.”