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Frequently Asked Questions

More on PSC’s accreditation model, priorities, and organization.

What kinds of institutions will the Postsecondary Commission accredit?

The Postsecondary Commission will seek recognition from the US Department of Education as an institutional accreditor with Title IV gatekeeping authority. PSC expects to accredit US-based institutions with a wide range of degree and certificate types, across a wide range of fields of study. Institutions accredited by PSC will produce high rates of economic mobility for their students.

Is the Postsecondary Commission a recognized accreditor?

No, not yet. In Fall 2023, the Postsecondary Commission will release and seek public input on its standards for accreditation and on certain other aspects of its accreditation model. Over the next several years, PSC will work with partner institutions to practice and refine its accreditation standards and model. At the end of that process, PSC will file with the US Department of Education its application for federal recognition as an accreditor. That application will go through several stages of review at the Department and before the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, an advisory committee.

Why does PSC prioritize economic mobility outcomes?

Students and families choose higher education for a variety of reasons. However, surveys repeatedly show that economic mobility is the number one reason students pursue higher education. PSC prioritizes economic mobility for this reason. Better jobs and wages are not the only reasons students attend higher education, but they are the most common and most important reasons.

How does PSC measure economic mobility?

When assessing an institution’s economic mobility outcomes, PSC will measure how much the actual wages of its students – after they exit the institution – exceed a baseline estimate of the wages those students would have experienced if they had not enrolled in the institution or pursued further higher education elsewhere.

Who funds the Postsecondary Commission?

The Postsecondary Commission is a non-profit organization that receives funding from individuals and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Charles Koch Foundation.

How will PSC hold institutions accountable?

The Postsecondary Commission will hold institutions accountable for delivering strong student outcomes, particularly strong economic outcomes. PSC is committed to holding institutions accountable for student outcomes as a way to protect students who invest time and money in higher education and to protect taxpayers who, via their state and federal governments, finance higher education.