New Book Shows How to Cut Costs, End Scandals, and Restore Value to American Higher Ed: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
April 16, 2019

New Book Shows How to Cut Costs, End Scandals, and Restore Value to American Higher Ed

OAKLAND, CA—Here’s the sad truth about higher education. Most college students learn relatively little in school and, as a result, they have little real advantage in the job market—making college, already costly, a risky, possibly worthless, investment.

But in his new book, Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America, education expert and Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute Richard K. Vedder offers powerful prescriptions to cure the underlying problems in higher education and foster a renaissance in higher education.

“Above all,” says Vedder, “today’s higher education would not be in its current precarious position were it not for a mostly unsuccessful expansion of governmental involvement in the academy over the past generation or two, especially at the federal level.” Having either studied or taught at the college level for seven decades, Vedder knows what he is talking about.

His solutions? In this compelling book, Vedder explains:

  • New private ways of funding—like Income Share Agreements.
  • Why we need to have non-college entities package and offer college-level courses—even certain degrees.
  • Why universities must have “skin in the game”—and help cover current loan defaults.
  • Ending speech codes and other barriers to academic freedom.
  • Increasing faculty teaching loads.
  • Ending grade inflation.
  • Ending or revising the federal student financial aid program.
  • Instituting three-year degrees and year-round instruction.
  • Ending affirmative action and related diversity programs.
  • Providing earnings data on former students by college five, ten or fifteen years after matriculation. Prospective students (and parents) as well as lawmakers and oversight officials would be assisted regarding school successes and failures.
  • The scandal of intercollegiate athletics and what to do about it.
  • And more...

Such innovative ideas—they abound in the book—and market-based principles need to be introduced. Nothing less than the fate of higher education in America is at stake. Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America is indeed indispensable reading.

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The Independent Institute is a non-profit, research, and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit For media inquiries, contact Communications Manager Rob Ade. Send Email or call (510) 632-1366, ext. 114.

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