US: Government to monitor fee increases

The US federal government will attempt to restrict the rise of college tuition from 1 July. After that date, colleges with large tuition increases will be required to report to the Department of Education the reason for the increase and the actions that will be taken to minimise costs. The department will publish much of the reports for the public online, writes Meagan Clark for Times Observer.

Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2008, the department will rank institutions by the highest tuition and fees, the highest net price, the largest percentage increase in tuition and fees, and the largest percentage increase in net price. The act also calls for accreditation agencies to follow the federal definition of the credit hour and for schools to monitor enrolment growth and publish all costs prospective students can expect to incur.

More than 70 major colleges and university organisations opposed the act. Many private colleges pride themselves on their distinctions from public universities, such as having smaller class sizes. But if private colleges must reduce costs (or run the risk of forfeiting federal funds), the line between private and public education could blur.
Full report on the Times Observer site