Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Senator Mike Lee wants to boost educational opportunities for low-income and middle-class Americans by allowing colleges to be accredited at the state level.

Today, the Utah Republican introduced a bill that would permit colleges to get accreditation at the state, rather than regional or federal, level and still be eligible to receive federal education funds.

Our current higher education system is controlled by the iron triangle of regional accreditation organizations, the schools and federal bureaucrats. The result is the exploding cost of higher education, which either prevents students from getting the educational experience they need or forces them to take on unnecessarily large amounts of debt.

Lee also stressed his legislation, Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act (HERO), could help spur additional higher-ed innovation.

“Today’s higher education system is falling behind on students’ increasingly diverse higher education needs,” Lee said, “and the resistance to change stifles the emergence of new education models than can be much more effective and affordable.”