New Tool From Accreditor on Health of Colleges

June 10, 2019

The New England Commission on Higher Education, a regional accreditor, last week announced plans to create a tool to gauge the financial health of colleges. The Boston Globe reported that the "early warning dashboard" is designed to help avoid sudden college closures, several of which have occurred recently in New England.

“This is a screening device on quantitative measures that can lead to a more qualitative look,” Barbara Brittingham, the commission's president, told the newspaper. “It will be good for students and families.”

All 72 private colleges located in Massachusetts will participate in the one-year project, which is slated to begin in December. Two for-profits in the state also will participate, the newspaper reported. The tool will use budgetary information that is similar to what bond ratings agencies use to evaluate the finances of colleges.

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education also has worked on ways to help protect students from sudden and unexpected college closures.

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