Accreditors wield enormous power over colleges by controlling access to federal aid programs. They have abused this power for decades, pushing “diversity” and interfering in governance. This study explains why and how they do it.

Key points

– Accreditation gives colleges access to federal aid programs, which means that accreditors have enormous power to shape higher education.

– This paper provides the most comprehensive list to date of publicly known abuses by accreditors.

– Now that colleges have more choice in accreditors, they have an opportunity to use it, which may limit accreditors’ abuses of power.