NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Ten Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education

June 28, 2011

Once a service for just the privileged few, postsecondary education has become a reachable and, in many cases, necessary goal for the majority.  Now, however, such accessibility and stature are in question, and legislators, taxpayers, parents and students need answers, says Vicki E. Murray, the education studies senior policy fellow at the Pacific Research Institute.

The scrutiny American higher education is now confronting is not only more intense than in previous eras, it is also much more public.  Knowing the leading issues, what questions to ask and where to find the answers are the first steps in crafting effective higher education policy. 

The top 10 questions lawmakers should be asking of higher education institutions in their states are:

  • How is higher education financed?
  • What is the true cost of a college education, and how affordable is it?
  • How accessible is a college education?
  • Are students prepared for college?
  • What remediation-prevention strategies are in place, and how effective are they?
  • How widespread is college remediation?
  • How strong are academic quality and completion rates?
  • Are college students prepared to enter the workforce?
  • Are higher education institutions improving transparency through data systems and technology?
  • What are higher education institutions doing to improve accountability?

Source: Vicki E. Murray, "10 Questions State Legislators Should Ask About Higher Education," American Legislative Exchange Council, June 2011.


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