Protection and the Unseen: How the U.S. Department of Education’s Undeveloped Authorities Can Protect Students and Promote Equity in Higher Education

Abstract

Higher Education is changing and demands enhanced oversight by the U.S. Department of Education. This paper identifies underused authorities in the Higher Education Act of 1965 that can promote equity and protect students and student loan borrowers. By using its gatekeeping agreements with institutions to ensure that programs are meeting the goals of the Higher Education Act, to require a system of quality assurance, and to guarantee that institutions have a financial interest in ensuring that their students repay loans, the U.S. Department of Education can create a more equitable and effective system of protections, accountability, and oversight to improve higher education.

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