The Trump administration is moving to replace punishment of underperforming colleges with “market-based accountability” in which students will get more information about their range of enrollment choices. This is part of a group of regulatory changes aimed at promoting innovation in higher education.
But the market for higher education is different from traditional markets in ways that mean merely providing more information, while helpful, is not enough.
For one thing, the market for higher education is strongly local; most students choose a college less than 15 miles from home.
Moreover, approximately 11 million Americans live in “education deserts” that are more than an hour’s drive from a public college that accepts at least 30 percent of applicants. And millions more have sparse options, such as a single community college.