Resources and Reform: The Obama Administration’s Higher Education Legacy and the 45th President’s Challenge

By Michael Dannenberg and Mary Nguyen Barry

obama legacy cover

President Obama invested more in student financial aid than any American President in history. The deeper story though is Obama extended the federal higher education policy paradigm beyond financial aid into areas of college quality and degree completion. There have been successes and disappointments.

The Obama administration cracked down on shoddy for-profit trade schools, moved to hold teacher education programs accountable
for K-12 student outcomes, and challenged states and colleges to increase degree attainment levels.  Download the attached for an early read on the results.

The big question is: How will the next President proceed? Will he or she retreat to a politically comfortable role, promoting only Resources OR Reform for higher education? Or will he or she rise to the challenge of embracing the new paradigm of Resources AND Reform in higher education?

Recommended are a series of steps toward the latter.

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