Secretary hosts dialogue on making college affordable, accountable, and accessible

March 23, 2007

By hammersmith

[Source: U.S. Department of Education] — U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings today continued the national dialogue on higher education by convening leaders and stakeholders from across the U.S. for a summit in Washington, D.C. on “A Test of Leadership: Committing to Advance Postsecondary Education for all Americans.”

The summit focuses on action items around five key recommendations by the Secretary’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education to improve college access, affordability and accountability. These action items include

  • Aligning K-12 and higher education expectations;
  • Increasing need-based aid for access and success;
  • Using accreditation to support and emphasize student learning outcomes;
  • Serving adults and other non-traditional students; and
  • Enhancing affordability, decreasing costs, and promoting productivity.

Secretary Spellings initiated a national dialogue on higher education when she created the Commission on the Future of Higher Education in 2005. The Commission’s findings were the basis for the Secretary’s action plan to improve America’s higher education system and provide students and families with more information and more affordable access to higher education. The Secretary announced her action plan in a speech to the National Press Club in September, 2006. A key component of that plan was to convene a summit to bring stakeholders and policy makers together to discuss the Commission’s recommendations, progress and specific responsibilities and actions for the future. Another priority was streamlining the process by which students apply for federal student aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). [Note: To read the full press release, click here.]