Students know what they want from college. They want affordability, they want to know they will graduate, and they want a good paying job at the end. They want colleges to be engines of economic mobility.
So do we.
Unfortunately, too many colleges no longer produce the upward economic mobility that students demand. College tuition is too high. Graduation rates are too low. Earnings for college graduates are erratic and, in many cases, no better than the those of high school graduates. And colleges are slow to share information about their performance and are rarely held to account when they struggle.
College101 thinks we can and should do better. We need more colleges that produce economic mobility for students and that are willing to be transparent and accountable for doing so.
Yes, we need current colleges to improve but we also need a movement of new colleges committed to these goals.
We envision innovative, well-regulated new colleges that deliver break-throughs in outcomes related to economic mobility and that agree to be accountable for, and transparent about, their results and practices.
For this breed of new colleges to emerge, new models and actors in accreditation are needed — ones that specialize in evaluating, approving and monitoring start-up colleges. Accreditation confers both legitimacy and allows colleges to access students with financial aid. Few colleges can operate without accreditation. But current accreditors are slow to approve new colleges.
College101 is working towards a movement of new colleges and a new type of accreditation to enable it. We do that by conducting in-depth research and analysis, sharing our findings, and advocating for new colleges that put students and their economic independence first.