Accreditation Hinders Launch Of New Post secondary Institutions

Launching new institutions: Solving the chicken-or-egg problem in American higher educationOctober 2014

Sylvia Manning

American Enterprise Institute



Key points

  • US higher education reformers have encouraged accreditors to change their standards and speed up their approval processes to accommodate innovative educational models, but this jeopardizes accreditation’s beneficial quality-assurance mechanisms.
  • A major barrier to colleges and universities entering the higher education market is that as unaccredited institutions, they cannot enroll students with financial aid needs, but having students is a prerequisite for accreditation.
  • A new system in which institutions can become provisionally approved for federal student financial aid before they achieve official accreditation could create a streamlined path for new institutions to enter the market.

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Also of interest


Untapped potential: Making the higher education market work for students and taxpayers

Andrew P. Kelly and Kevin James | AEI | October 6, 2014


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