The federal presence in higher education is both unconstitutional and harmful. Federal student aid drives up college prices, creates numerous distortions and inefficiencies, and costs taxpayers ever more. Federal institutional aid, university-based research grants, and academic pork also cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Finally, federal efforts to impose ‘accountability’’ on the nation’s ivory tower threaten to destroy its greatest strengths: institutional autonomy, consumer freedom, and the powerful competition and innovation they create. Washington must get out of higher education.

More on Higher Education


Fisher Decision a Disappointment, but Won’t Stop Campaign against Racial Preferences

By Ilya Shapiro. Pope Center. July 6, 2016.

New Voices Fight to Restore Student Free Speech

By Nat Hentoff and Nick Hentoff. April 7, 2016.

Debt-Free College? Maybe

By Neal McCluskey. Austin American-Statesman. March 13, 2016.

Cato Studies

State Education Trends

By Andrew J. Coulson. Policy Analysis No. 746. March 18, 2014.

Drawing Meaningful Trends from the SAT

By Andrew J. Coulson. Working Paper No. 16. March 10, 2014.

Liberalizing Cross-Border Trade in Higher Education: The Coming Revolution of Online Universities

By Simon Lester. Policy Analysis No. 720. February 5, 2013.


Intellectual Diversity in the Legal Academy

Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz. Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Vol. 37. No. 1. January 26, 2014.

Did Expansion of the Pell Grant Program Lead to Tuition Hikes?

Neal McCluskey. CQ Researcher. Vol. 23. No. 3. January 18, 2013.

Public Filings

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

By David B. Rivkin Jr., Mark DeLaquil, Andrew M. Grossman, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. September 10, 2015.

Many Factors at Play in Minority Access to Higher Education

By Neal McCluskey. Testimony. May 29, 2015.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

By David B. Rivkin Jr., Mark DeLaquil, Andrew M. Grossman, & Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. March 16, 2015.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Does Federal Aid Drive College Tuition?

Robert B. Archibald and David H. Feldman. Regulation. Summer 2016.

Richard Vedder and the Future of Higher Education Reform

Jayme S. Lemke and William F. Shughart II. Cato Journal. Winter 2016.

The Looming Fiscal Train Wreck

Policy Report. May/June 2013.


From “No Child” to “Every Student”: How Big a Change?

Featuring Neal McCluskey. February 16, 2016. Policy Forum.

Private Funding, Public Debate: Reviving the Spirit of Inquiry in Higher Education

Featuring John A. Allison and Neal McCluskey. February 5, 2015. Policy Forum.

Is College Worth It?

Featuring Neal McCluskey and Bryan Caplan. April 30, 2014. Student Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Higher Education Subsidies

By Neal McCluskey and Chris Edwards. May 2009.