Making the Case for Colleges
Committed to Economic Mobility

A New College Sector

Students and families know what they want from college. They want a college with a reasonable net price, strong graduation rates, and solid earnings to justify the cost of college. They want colleges to be engines of economic mobility.

We agree. We also know there aren’t enough colleges that deliver these economic outcomes. And new colleges that could produce them are too often left on the sidelines without a clear path into the sector.

We believe that higher education needs a movement of innovative, new colleges that create economic mobility for students and are willing to be held accountable for doing so.  

 For these colleges to thrive, we need new models, approaches and actors in accreditation. Accreditors are reluctant to approve and oversee new colleges, and new colleges need accreditation to serve students who pay for college with financial aid or federal loans.

Colleges for Economic Mobility

We need new colleges that are clearly accountable for the economic mobility of their students. They need to be affordable, graduate students at high rates, and produce strong earnings outcomes.

1. Affordability

Tuition has increased too fast for too long. Families want to know that they will be able to afford college without incurring too much debt. 

2. Graduation

Consumers should know that the college they select has a track record of graduating students like them.

3. Earnings

All students want to know that their college investment will pay off. A graduate’s short term earnings should make the cost of college worthwhile.  

Today there simply are not enough colleges
that check these boxes 

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 Of all undergraduates are in colleges <20 years old 

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  New nonprofit colleges in past 20 years 

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   College accreditors using outcomes-focused standards 

Students Deserve More and Better

College 101 believes in a movement of new colleges that bring innovation to the sector, deliver breakthroughs in economic mobility for students, and agree to be held accountable and to act with transparency. For these new colleges to form, we need new approaches to accreditation that specialize in approving and regulating new colleges. Our work is to share research and stories to make this case.

 “Talented teams of social entrepreneurs are ready to start outcomes-focused colleges. They just need a pathway forward.” 

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