Lewis Diuguid

President proposes new accountability system for higher education.

President Barack Obama is right to push for an accountability system for colleges to receive federal aid.

The current program rewards colleges and universities that raise tuition, saddle students with more debt, limit the number of young people admitted and offer few guarantees that people will get good jobs if they graduate. That’s taking place when the nation needs more people in college to prepare for a more competitive global marketplace.

Obama wants the U.S. Department of Education to put a system in place to rate colleges on the value students get for their tuition. That scorecard is to go into place in 2015, taking into account the average student debt load, graduation rates and college costs.

The department by 2018 would use the ratings system to reward colleges based on the value they provide so that larger grants go to schools providing the best value. Obama will have to get Congress to approve legislation, determining federal aid to schools.

That may will be a tough fight because of the current political gridlock in Congress.