It is high time we recognize that obtaining an education is not synonymous with receiving a traditional degree. That is why I introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act.

While the costs of higher education have continued to accelerate and the amount of student loan debt has skyrocketed, many college graduates are now ending up in jobs that do not even require a college degree. The acquisition of advanced knowledge and skills is more important than ever for economic opportunity, and many students would benefit from alternatives to traditional brick-and-ivy institutions, such as training programs, vocational schools and apprenticeships. By authorizing states to experiment with different approaches to accreditation, the HERO Act will allow our nation’s students to pursue the skills and education that they need to succeed in their chosen fields. Accredited programs would be eligible to receive federal student loan money. This will allow students to equip themselves with advanced skills at a much lower cost. Furthermore, the availability of more education options will exert a downward pressure on tuition at traditional colleges, which will provide relief to many hard-working families.

Sen. Mike Lee (UT) has introduced the HERO Act in the Senate. Click here to read the op-ed that we authored together for National Review discussing how the HERO Act will break up the higher education cartel. We will continue to advocate for this innovative method of opening up our nation’s higher education system to more Americans.

Media Coverage of the HERO Act

The Daily Signal
Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has introduced a proposal to fundamentally restructure higher education accreditation. The proposal would allow states to establish flexible accreditation models that would infuse a level of customization in higher education that is currently impossible under the existing accreditation system. The Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act—or HERO Act—would empower states to allow any entity to credential courses and pave the way for a more flexible college experience for students and make possible a dramatic reduction in college costs.
Higher education is finally getting some attention from Republicans in Congress. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R- Fla.) introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act Wednesday, the House companion legislation to what was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R- Utah). The HERO Act would allow states to create their own accreditation systems for higher education institutions.  They could create systems and industry-based accreditation boards that could rate alternative institutions, programs, or even individual courses under the act.It would not to replace the current regional accreditation bodies. Right now federal dollars can only be used at accredited colleges and this would widen the numbers of institutions and programs that would qualify for aid. DeSantis believes this would make college more accessible and affordable.
The Big Higher Ed Lie
Generation Opportunity
Post-high school playbook: Go to college. Get a degree. Then, you’ll get a good job. Don’t worry about how to pay for it—that’s what student loans are for. Sound familiar? It’s turned out to be the biggest lie in today’s economy...  In the end, big-government solutions exacerbate the problem of rising tuition. What we really need is out-of-the-box thinking that provides customized solutions to each student. We should push for high-quality alternatives to traditional higher education programs—options that provide access to valuable training and skills at a more affordable cost. The Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act, which was introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), presents one such strategy.