IHEP Provides Preliminary Recommendations on the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS)
Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance Hearing, Postsecondary Institution Ratings System
Trinity Washington University, Friday, September 12, 2014
IHEP President Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper testified during the Department of Education’s Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (ACSFA) Hearing on the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS) at Trinity Washington University in September 2014. In her remarks, she provided five recommendations to ensure the success of any rating system that may be put into place by the Department:
- There should be two separate ratings systems – one for consumer information and another for institutional accountability.
- We should strive to collect better data, but we can begin with the data that we have.
- To truly help low-income, first-generation, and other underrepresented students, the information in the ratings systems must be relevant to their needs and circumstances.
- The information from PIRS should be disseminated in a way that catalyzes change and action,not simply create another tool that resides on a website.
- The ratings system must appropriately recognize the diversity of institutions, missions, and students served, while also holding all institutions to the high standards that students deserve.
In closing, Cooper reminded the Committee that the final version of the ratings system should be introduced over time, thereby allowing institutions time to adjust, evaluate their data, and improve before facing any risk of penalties.
View the PDF to read Dr. Cooper’s full testimony.