On Campus: College leaders unite, say no thanks to Obama college ratings

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

There are 56 top leaders of nonprofit college campuses in Wisconsin, be they public or private, two-year or four-year. They probably can’t all agree on much, but one issue has found every last one of them literally on the same page: President Obama’s proposed new government rating system for colleges.

They don’t like much of the proposed changes, they said in a letter to the president and Congress last week, arguing that the provisions could limit access for some low-income students and stifle efforts to innovate with a one-size-fits-all measure for college success.

“We question the proposed (ratings) will have any positive impact on access and affordability of higher education,” they wrote.

The new ratings system, rolled out by Obama in the fall, would judge schools on their affordability and perhaps be used to allocate federal financial aid. That could hurt already struggling colleges who enroll mostly low-income students, the leaders wrote. Those students typically take longer to get through, which in the new system could limit future financial aid allocations.

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