Maximizing Student Success: A Student-Driven Platform for Higher Education Accountability

Young Invincibles

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Students take on significant risks pursuing college, but right now we aren’t able to hold all schools accountable if they fail to provide a high quality education. Current models to ensure accountability in higher education focus largely on institutional and taxpayer risk, key elements of an effective system, but fall short on directly addressing student risk and perspectives.

To create this Student-Driven Platform for Higher Ed Accountability, Young Invincibles spoke to students around the country about their perspectives and priorities for higher education. We asked them about their aspirations for college and workforce, their expectations of themselves, their colleges, and their government, and how public policy can regulate the system to minimize risk and maximize student success.

We have identified key themes from students to help policymakers see the discussion from their perspectives. We apply these themes to current policy discussions so policymakers and researchers can use this as a reference point for what real students actually think about their proposals, and design new policies inspired by students themselves.

Three Primary Recommendations:

  • Charge institutions new fees for loans that students are unable to repay.
  • Create a bonus grant program to incentivize institutions to enroll low-income or otherwise disadvantaged students.
  • Enforce a “success” threshold of 33 percent (at least one third of students retained, graduated, or transferred) for all Title IV institutions.