If aid were tied to graduation rates …

Linking federal student aid to college graduation rates or other success measures could shake up higher education. Open-access colleges and universities enroll many low-income students who qualify for Pell Grants. Graduation rates are low.

Federal civil rights investigators are expanding their scope, including an investigation of whether low graduation rates at a community college violates students’ rights.

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  1. “If aid were tied to graduation rates …” then you’d see grade inflation beyond anything you’ve seen before. Just like Winston College.

  2. Michael E. Lopez says:

    It’s not the graduation rates that are the problem.

    All this will do is give schools incentives to shove students out the door even less prepared than they are now.

    You’d be better off linking the aid to Student Loan Repayment. (I’m not saying that’s a good idea, just that it’s better than using graduation rates.)

    For a more in-depth discussion, see my post here:


  3. Maybe there is a need for an independent exit exam for those college graduates who received government financial aid. Schools that do not have a good track record on their graduates pass rates should be ineligible for further aid.

  4. I am glad that many already recognized the possible negative effects of linking funding to graduation rates. This goes to the argument of what defines success. Especially for those who attend community college, often education can serve an important purpose even without a degree. What about those who leave school, but then attend a 4 year college and graduate from there down the line? What about the successful entrepreneur or career person who do not stay for a formal degree.

    When we try to set a measure of success something like a test or graduation rates, you will see all sorts of perversion of the school system that do more harm to the important ingenuity and creativity otherwise to be found in our schools. Just look at the effects of NCLB.