Op-ed: Student success, not colleges' tax status, matters most

Today, The Hill ran an op-ed penned by Richard Pattenaude, the president and CEO of Ashford University. Below is an excerpt from the opinion piece.

Congress is preparing to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, which governs student aid. The Education Department is issuing regulations about which colleges are eligible. Having called for the United States to produce an additional eight million college graduates by 2020, President Obama recently organized a College Opportunity Summit to “help every hardworking kid to go to college and succeed when they get to campus.”

Helping more young people attend and complete college is important. So is making sure that student aid programs effectively serve students, their families, and the taxpayers.

Achieving these goals requires teamwork among every sector of higher education. Policymakers should include the public colleges and universities, the nonprofit institutions, and also the fast-growing private-sector colleges and universities that educate some 3 million students, many of whom are working adults whom the traditional institutions have under-served.

Read the full op-ed on The Hill.


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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.