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Influential conservative think tank calls on Congress to reform college accreditation

Influential conservative think tank calls on Congress to reform college accreditation

The College Fix

Garrett Marchand
July 6, 2023
A new report from an influential conservative think tank calls on Congress to fix the college accreditation process and end accreditors’ stranglehold on higher education.
With the stated aim of returning “accreditation to its original function as a mechanism for quality assurance and improvement,” the report asks lawmakers to adopt several changes to the Higher Education Act as they work through its first reauthorization since 2008.
The report, published June 20 by the Heritage Foundation, is titled “It’s time for Congress to dismantle the higher education accreditation cartel.” It argues accreditation “is often a costly process for institutions, while offering little quality control, and it increasingly mandates ‘woke’ university policies.”
“Since so much of higher education has turned left, it should be no surprise that accreditors have followed the trend,” said education reform expert Adam Kissel, co-author of the report, in an email to The College Fix.
The accreditation process was originally envisioned as a “voluntary, peer review–based system of quality assurance,” but modern accreditation agencies have evolved into “gatekeepers for all federal student loan and grant programs,” the report states.
Heritage’s education reform scholars argue that what was once a voluntary system has become a “de facto requirement, with accreditation losing much of its value as a result.”
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