Economist suggests Ed Dept credentialing as college cost cure
- Economist Carlo Salerno writes in the Huffington Post that allowing the U.S. Department of Education to grant degrees based upon the number of courses completed, regardless of transfers or the number of institutions, is a way to generate more value and decrease costs for students.
- Since most schools do not accept transfer credits universally to create more profit in taking duplicate courses and more requirements, Salerno argues that the DOE has the capacity to set rules on how many courses and which types qualify students for a professional credential.
- Salerno says that schools would cut costs to keep pace with the government's credentialing arm, which could operate in the same way that it qualifies students for federal loans, and higher education accreditors.
Salerno's is a novel idea that accompanies the federal government's existing approach to determining who earns degrees and which schools grant them. If you are poor and cannot afford to pay back federal loans for four-year education, the DOE essentially forces students to enter community college. Schools who admit low-performing students are now being pressured by the feds' threat of discontinuing student lending to those institutions.
The federal government, which has acted as a shadow accreditor and admissions director for years now, could help millions of students worldwide realize education as an affordable asset to building wealth. The model already exists with healthcare; so why not with higher ed?