Obama to Higher Ed: Find Ways to Lower Costs, Maintain Quality

Obama to Higher Ed: Find Ways to Lower Costs, Maintain Quality

Could competency-based education reduce U.S. student loan debt?

That’s what the Obama administration wants to know.

In August, President Obama began encouraging U.S. universities and colleges to innovate around higher education, including challenging colleges to offer a greater range of affordable options, giving consumers clear and transparent information on college performance, and stripping away unnecessary regulations.

Now, according to Insider Higher Ed, the U.S. Department of Education has announced that it’s specifically looking for innovations to increase quality while reducing costs.

“The Secretary is particularly interested in experiments that will improve student persistence and academic success, result in shorter time to degree, and reduce student loan indebtedness,” reads the notice issued by the Department of Education.

What will those experiments look like? The Department of Education said programs could include competency-based education programs, dual enrollment of high school students, and allowing federal student aid to be used for learning assessments, to name a few. There’s a deadline set of January 31st, 2014 for colleges to propose their own ideas.

Do you think introducing more competency-based education will cut down on student debt? Share your thoughts.