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


College Pays off, but Not Like It Should

By Neal McCluskey. Miami Herald. May 18, 2017.

Shouting down Speakers—a Regular, Organized Campus Business

By Walter Olson. Minding the Campus. April 10, 2017.

Safe Spaces on College Campuses Are Creating Intolerant Students

By Flemming Rose. Huffington Post. March 30, 2017.

Cato Studies

Not Just Treading Water: In Higher Education, Tuition Often Does More than Replace Lost Appropriations

By Neal McCluskey. Policy Analysis No. 810. February 15, 2017.

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.


Intellectual Diversity in the Legal Academy

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

The Coming Collapse of the BA Bubble

Cato's Letter. Charles Murray. Vol. 11. No. 1. Winter 2013.

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

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

Public Filings

Keefe v. Adams

By Eugene Volokh and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. March 27, 2017.

Felkner v. Rhode Island College

By William Creeley, Thomas More Dickinson, and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. December 21, 2016.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

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

Cato Reviews & Journals

Higher Education

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

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.


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. November 2016.