The Forgotten Stewards of Higher Education Quality

42 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020 Last revised: 13 Nov 2020

Date Written: October 16, 2020


A “triad” of regulators is supposed to ensure that student loan borrowers are not harmed by low-value institutions of higher education, including exploitative profiteers operating
fly-by-night or predatory institutions of higher education. The triad has failed. Millions of students have borrowed billions of federal student loan dollars that they won’t ever repay, causing borrowers to suffer needless economic harm and psychological anguish. But these harms were, are, and remain mostly preventable. This Article appears to be the first law review article to consider the states’ role in policing institutional quality and ensuring that student borrowers are not preyed upon by low-value institutions of higher education. It suggests concrete steps states could take, such as adopting a state version of financial responsibility scores, the gainful employment rule, or a cohort default rate metric, to avoid being characterized as the forgotten stewards of higher education quality.

Keywords: higher ed, higher education, triad, ED, DOE, Department of Education, cohort default, financial responsibility, gainful employment, Title IV, student loans, predatory

Suggested Citation

Bruckner, Matthew A., The Forgotten Stewards of Higher Education Quality (October 16, 2020). 11 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 1 - 41 (2020), Available at SSRN:

Matthew A. Bruckner (Contact Author)

Howard University School of Law ( email )

2900 Van Ness Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
United States

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