President Barack Obama, White House officials and the leaders of various colleges and universities have been discussing ways to allocate funding to academic institutions based on how well they perform, reports The Christian Science Monitor.
Among the issues discussed at the recent meeting, stagnating graduation rates despite rising numbers of college applications, employer expectations of graduates and the allocation of Pell grants based on schools' performance topped the agenda. Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, said that federal funding should be dispersed based on factors such as maintaining tuition fees, closing gaps in student achievement and boosting completion rates.
"Dozens of colleges and universities have either cut or frozen tuition, or provide a four-year graduation guarantee, where the college agrees to cover the cost of the extra time it takes a full-time student to graduate," Duncan said in a speech earlier this year, as quoted by the news outlet. He added that measures like this would provide students with a more accessible education, and that performance-based scholarships would ensure that graduates can display "demonstrated competence."
Federal funding, such as Pell grants, have come under intense scrutiny as the government seeks to save money to reduce the national deficit. According to Campus Progress, the House of Representatives' Budget Committee is considering cutting $896 million in funding to the Pell grants program.
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