What’s Ahead for Congress

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - Colleges have received more than $36 billion from federal stimulus bills over the last year. Two former Hill staffers representing both sides of the aisle, Alison Griffin and Julie Peller, discuss how higher ed legislation really moves on Capitol Hill and what Congress should be tackling next.

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Michael Horn:

Hey, Jeff, you remember Schoolhouse Rock! I'm sure. I'm just a bill sitting here on Capitol Hill. It's one of the most famous of the series debuted in 1976.

Jeff Selingo:

1976. Unbelievable. I'm glad I just didn't have to sing that. It's a good piece of trivia for our listeners though. I sure do remember it because I've shown it to my own kids recently. But as we'll discuss today, how a bill really becomes a law, especially when it comes to higher ed is much different. On this episode of Future U, we have two former Hill staffers who worked on both sides of the House education committee, Alison Griffin and Julie Peller to give us the inside scoop on higher ed policy and what's next on Capitol Hill. As institutions look to the federal government for help during the pandemic.

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This episode of Future U is brought to you by Nelnet Campus Commerce, delivering a secure, integrated payment experience for higher education. Please subscribe to Future U on whatever platform you like to listen. And if you enjoy the podcast, leave us a rating, so others know about the great conversations we're sharing about higher ed. And don't miss our weekly poll on Twitter and Facebook. You can find us at the handle Future U Podcast. We'll try and discuss some of the interesting results to questions on upcoming episodes.

Jeff Selingo:

I'm Jeff Selingo.

Michael Horn:

And I'm Michael Horn. So Jeff, as we were planning for the second half of this season of Future U, we were thinking obviously about the important stories that will shape higher ed and work in the year ahead and clearly the pandemic and its impact remains the story.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. Right, Michael, I think at the same time we have a new presidential administration and a new Congress in D.C. So we also wanted to explore the obviously huge role the federal government will play in all this. In a few weeks we're really excited to have not just one, but two former secretaries of education who are going to be with us on Future U.

Michael Horn:

Yeah. I'm super excited for that. And obviously our listeners know, we tend not to get into the weeds of policy in this podcast, but I think these episodes are really important right now and worth a listen.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. I remember a few years ago, moderating a panel with Josh, Jarrett, when he was still with the Gates Foundation. And I mentioned how much influence the foundation had because of all the money they gave away in higher ed and in public there, he corrected me given how much it pales in comparison to what the federal government gives out in the control of the purse strings that it has over higher ed.

Michael Horn:

Yeah, it's totally true Jeff, because even just looking at the last two stimulus bills related to the pandemic, in addition to the regular appropriations to higher ed the sector and its students got an additional $36 billion just from the federal government.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. So to better understand how all this works, we're excited to have with us today, Alison Griffin and Julie Peller. Alison is now a Senior Vice President at Whiteboard Advisors and probably some of you follow her writing in Forbes. In 2001 and then again, in 2003 until 2006, she was a staff member for the Republicans when John Boehner was chairman of the House committee on education in the workforce. And we also have with us, Julie Peller, who's Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates an organization that supports and advances policy changes that increase access and success for students. From 2006 until 2013, so right after Alison, she was also on the staff of the House committee on education in the workforce on the other side for the Democrats. So welcome to both of you.

Alison Griffin:

Thank you.

Julie Peller:

Thank you. Glad to be here.

Michael Horn:

Yeah. So let's start off with a bit of a civics lesson for those listeners who might not know how higher ed policy works on Capitol Hill. Both of you were staffers on the House education and labor committee, which just to be clear for our listeners seems to undergo a name change every few years with the switch and power in Congress. And I think most people understand that representatives and senators, they have their personal staff, but first could you explain the job of staffers and the committees and how they interact with members specifically and without getting too Schoolhouse Rock! here, how does an education bill really become law? Julie, can we start with you?

Julie Peller:

Sure. So the committee's role and the committee staff role is to be the issue expert. Alison and I got to spend all day every day thinking about higher education and higher education policy. Whereas in a personal office, a staff person could be worrying about higher education for one half an hour and land use the next half hour and transportation policy in the third. And so we really were able to dig in deep and work with members and their staff to answer questions and think about things a little bit more broadly than at the district level. How does an education bill really become law is a very complicated question, but I think it comes with priority setting from leadership, from the committees and from what's going on in the country. And it can show up in one of two places, the committee we worked with or through spending dollars on the appropriation side.

Alison Griffin:

Julie is exactly right. We did spend all of our time serving as subject matter experts, if you will, on a wide variety of higher ed issues. The benefit that, that actually offered both to the committee, but also to the members that serve on the committee is if they had issues that they wanted to research or policy ideas that they wanted to even share across the aisle, we became the conduit of information. Now, granted this was 20 years ago and I know we're going to talk a little bit about how times have changed, but the one thing I'd emphasize with regard to how a bill really becomes a law, I think it's important for your listeners to know that the majority of the laws in the country are actually written by people largely under the age of 35.

Alison Griffin:

It's the staffers, whether the personal office staff who are collaborating with committee staff or committee staff who are working with a legislative council, who are actually the ones that are doing the research, doing the drafting, and then sharing those ideas with the members of Congress. And so for those who want to be more involved in the policymaking process, certainly knowing your member of Congress is important, but knowing who is staffing those members and knowing who is staffing the committees as subject matter experts is probably more important.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. So Alison, it seems to me, let's talk about how the changes over time, because it seems to me that higher ed policymaking has really become a lot more piecemeal in the two decades and probably really starting when you were on the Hill. So no connection between those two things, but right. It used to be that most higher ed policy making was done through the renewal of the Higher Education Act every several years. And then you'd have money doled out through the annual appropriations bills. But none of that really seems to happen anymore. Can you explain what's happened and most important, what does this really mean for students in institutions that these changes seems to be happening?

Alison Griffin:

It is a complex process to follow. You don't examine the law comprehensively if you do this work outside of a reauthorization. So not only is it hard for the people who have followed this for 20 years to keep track of it. Imagine what it's like for even those who are trying to influence policy much less those who are trying to live under new policy, to keep track of what is happening when it's not happening on a regular cadence.

Julie Peller:

Some of this is inside Washington process, right? What people should care about are the issues and the reforms that need to happen. Where it matters is it's a chance for Congress to take a step back and say, how does this whole system work? Do the pieces fit together? And that's what I think it's missed when you do a piecemeal approach to policy reform, because you're dealing with one issue over here, and two years later you might pick up another thread, but you don't get a chance to see the pieces together. And that's where really reauthorization conversations come in.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about influencing policy and Julie, so when I covered the Hill for the Chronicle of Higher Ed in the late 1990s, one thing that always struck me was about how institutions were re represented and lobbying Congress either through their national associations, their paid reps or college presidents who would always visit the Hill when they came to Washington, but students weren't really represented. Now I know this is probably true of the consumer in almost every sector of the economy, but we know that policy impacts students. Do you think the voice of students should be more represented and practically, how can that even be done or is it just a lost cause?

Julie Peller:

Absolutely. I think they need to be. Higher education policy, especially at the federal level, starts with the institution of the center right now. We don't start with students at the center. And I think that is as much of a symptom and a result of who is up there talking about. A lot of times, those interests overlap and a lot of times they don't. And I think that second realization is new, not only for policy makers, but for students themselves, particularly students who are working and adults and parents themselves. It's a really hard process to engage in, but in this era of greater technology and greater ways to reach members and their staff as Alison rightly pointed out, I think it's possible. It's just a matter of explaining to students where those avenues exist.

Alison Griffin:

Can I share a quick anecdote? And it's actually a testament to the work that Julie and Higher Learning Advocates has done to increase the attention of the student voice and a lot of these policy issues. Almost 20 years ago, I remember walking into a room for a meeting with The Coalition For Better Student Loans, right? You would think that that group would have included some student voices. And to my surprise, I walked in there wasn't a student in the room. And I would suggest that while the student voice isn't as loud and represented as perhaps it potentially could be the fact that we've seen some legislative change, even over the course of this pandemic period, that directly impacts students is a test to Julie, her organization, other organizations that are representative of the student voice, getting that voice heard in Washington.

Michael Horn:

So I want to dig in a little bit more on this because one of the big things that have changed obviously is that who goes to higher ed has changed considerably over the years. So Alison let's start with you, which is how well do the staff and members really understand the higher ed system that we have today and who attends higher education, who that student is, if you will compared to the 1960s when the original Higher Ed Act was first passed?

Alison Griffin:

Well, I will say this, anyone who went to college or had a post-secondary experience beyond high school is an expert on Capitol Hill about higher ed.

Jeff Selingo:

I think that's true everywhere, probably these days.

Alison Griffin:

Sure, absolutely. And so I would say again, I'm reflecting back on 20 years ago, but we would have a conversation with members as staff and candidly we were talking about distance education, online learning. And when we would use the phrase distance education, I would suggest a third of our members thought we were talking about correspondence courses. And I mean that respectfully, but the fact is people reflect on their own experience. And while I think that understanding has changed somewhat, I would also argue that the staff who are largely representative of the education committee members and doing the work on those issues have had a fairly traditional if not elite post-secondary experience. So I think we're a long way from the people who are making the laws and writing the laws fully appreciating how much the population of students have really changed.

Julie Peller:

And this is the heart of a large part of what higher learning advocates does and I echo what Alison was saying of staff are disproportionately come from a traditional and selective four year experience. It's just the nature of who congressional staff tend to be. A lot of people are working to change that on a number of fronts. I think they're starting to say, "Oh yeah, there are working learners. There are adult learners." But where the change has to happen is to say that the 18 to 22 year old on-campus college experience is not the gold standard. I think there's a recognition that students look different, but kind of an assumption that they should still be going to school the way that people did in 1965, not how people go to school in 2021.

Jeff Selingo:

So let's dive into current issues for a second here. So the stimulus bills have been a major issue, of course, for Congress since the pandemic. Higher ed has received money that split between students and institutions. Assuming that there are going to be more stimulus dollars to come, and I think that's probably a safe assumption who knows how much, of course, what else do you think needs to be done for higher ed? Where would you like to see the money spent and how? Let's start with you, Julie.

Julie Peller:

So I'd like to see the money spent on students. Certainly keeping institutions open is a real concern and something that needs to be addressed, but the needs for students that were addressed at the beginning of the pandemic, things like access to emergency aid, access to technology, broadband, hardware, those things existed last March, and they exist this March. And I think that I fear a conversation about supporting institutions will drive Congress away from conversation about supporting students, which ultimately will get the country back on its feet more and keep institutions open and more of the long run than stemming the tide add institution dollars right now.

Alison Griffin:

I'm thinking about this wearing two hats. One is a university trustee, obviously very concerned about the impact that the pandemic has had on our public institution, but also through the lens of a learner as Michelle Weise calls it a long life learner, not a lifelong learner, but knowing that we're going to have a longer life, how are we supporting learners throughout the course of learning? And so I think that there's actually a balance to be struck between how we continue to support institutions by the things they're doing to support students. Right. I don't think this is about recouping loss on the bottom line.

Alison Griffin:

This is about getting materials and resources and additional wrap around supports in place for students. But I also think that there's a new frame of the learner and how do we get dollars in the hands of learners of all ages? As you talk about today's students to up-skill, re-skill, get back to education, get back to training so they can get to work. I just think there's a different approach that we could be taking with new stimulus dollars that may flow beyond what higher education or post-secondary education's already received.

Michael Horn:

So beyond the pandemic and stimulus, if you think more broadly about what you would have expected with the new administration coming in and so forth, what other higher ed issues do you think ought to be addressed by Congress perhaps this year or next year, thinking about the two year window we're in and knowing that activity seems to have to start early for it to get passed if it has any chance these days, but Alison, what are your thoughts on that?

Alison Griffin:

So I have two things that I'd love to see Congress address, the administration address. And I think in some sense, both of these topics have been on the agendas. The attention should really be in the details. And I don't think we've seen details yet. The first is we've talked a lot about short-term credentials, short-term training programs, other ways to get learners back into learning and training opportunities. I think we need to establish some quality metrics for those short term providers. We need to start looking at outcomes more so than inputs. That's been decades of conversation, but I do think this administration, particularly with their talent and training focus should really be thinking about what those short-term training programs and the quality assurance standards associated with them should look like.

Alison Griffin:

The second is related, but how are learners of all ages going to pay for that education and training? And how do we expand financial aid program offerings, making them perhaps a little bit more flexible? It's more than just adding money to accounts, it's also creating flexibility in the uses of some of those funds. So I'd like to see the administration tackle questions related to financial aid.

Julie Peller:

And just an evidence that bipartisanship is not dead in Washington.

Alison Griffin:

Thank you, Julie.

Julie Peller:

Certainly. [crosstalk 00:17:51] too, to what Alison said. I think this issue of what is the new normal for post-secondary education and how do we take this opportunity to accelerate the reforms? Of those of us who've been knee deep in it for so long have been seeing coming, but how do we do it with the learner at the center? I agree with Alison that thinking about shorter term programs, alternatives to degrees has to be part of the conversation. Another part of that has to be how we draw pathways and connections between those programs for the learners. Right now we have a system at the federal level that supports workforce training at the Department of Labor and higher education degrees at the Department of Education and all sorts of other work supported supports at agriculture and commerce and all these other departments.

Julie Peller:

If a learner goes through a program supported in one silo, it's incredibly difficult to translate that knowledge, translate those credentials into something else, and we're just losing people and their talent in the process. And so I really hope that this administration takes a more comprehensive look as they're looking toward recovery and around the corner of what the new normal could be.

Jeff Selingo:

I'm also just struck by the language both of you are using, because if I go through the higher education act, I'm assuming that the term used probably most often is student and you're talking about learner. And I think that's a really big change that we need to be talking about. So we have just a couple of seconds left, but I really want to get your take on something that's actually non higher ed related. You probably saw the news that it's being recommended, permanent fencing being installed at the Capitol and as a 20 plus year resident of D.C., I can imagine how much that really makes me really sad. Right. So given that you've spent so much of your life there in that Capitol complex, what are your thoughts? Alison, start with you.

Alison Griffin:

Wow. Jeff, the first thing your question makes me think of as the changes that we all faced right after 9/11. I used to walk into congressional buildings without going through a metal detector. I didn't know where the gas mask was in my office. And unfortunately it became a sign of the times. And I would say Capitol Hill staffers now that's the norm. And so I'm really sad to say that I feel like this might be part of the new normal. I am experiencing the same thing here in Denver, Colorado. And just the landscape of the city is tremendously different over the last couple of weeks and months.

Jeff Selingo:

And this just goes back to... Julie, I'd love to get your thoughts too, because this just goes back to this idea of the ease, right. Of going to see members and things like that.

Julie Peller:

Yeah. Also as a 20 plus year resident of the D.C. area, it just makes me sad. And there's something about the government geek in me that's still 20 years later gets excited walking across the Plaza at the Capitol. And as a staffer, you live in such a bubble not only in Washington D.C., but on Capitol Hill because you are just there all the time, it takes a lot of work of many hours. Seeing people inside the halls of the Capitol Hill building and seeing people protesting and demonstrating and walking around the Plaza is very grounding. And I think incredibly important and I'd be really sad. Listen, I'm not going to comment, I don't know enough about the ins and outs of security, but I'd be really sad if that was gone forever. Because I think it'll harm our policies and it'll harm what policymakers and their staff actually see.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. And I think from an architectural standpoint, fencing just always looks ugly too. Right?

Julie Peller:

Especially the ones set up right now.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. Especially the ones they always pick. Well anyway, well, thank you, Alison and Julie for joining us today for this critical conversation and we're going to be right back on Future U.

Speaker 3:

This episode of Future U is brought to you by Nelnet Campus Commerce. Nelnet Campus Commerce delivers a secure, integrated payment experience for higher education. The payment solutions offered include payment plans, giving students an affordable payment option for current and past due accounts. Payment plans can be easily tracked by students in your institution's ERP interface. Research shows that students who utilize the payment plan are more likely to be retained semester to semester. Learn more about the research conducted on over 500,000 student records and how it impacted retention rates at campuscommerce.com/research.

Jeff Selingo:

Welcome back to Future U and off that fascinating conversation with Julie and Alison. So Michael, what struck me in listening to them and Julie made reference to it there, right at the end, if we didn't identify which party they worked for in the intros, I'm not sure our listeners would have guessed it during that conversation. It seems even higher ed has become a partisan issue these days. Hasn't it?

Michael Horn:

Yeah, I look, I totally agree with your observation, Jeff and just a macro statement that they alluded to also, which is that staffers on these committees, they work together. They actually talk with each other on a regular basis and they don't have the same pressures that are increasingly I think that senators and representatives these days do on them, right. With a constituency that is hammering them on a variety of things to often stake more and more extreme positions on a variety of issues.

Michael Horn:

And I think we saw that flare up dramatically just recently with two vastly different stimulus proposals between the Republicans and Democrats, right? And Democrat Bobby Scott who chairs the House education labor committee was exasperated with that because Republicans, in their version of the stimulus bill, they had no further aid for colleges and universities versus 35 billion from the Democrats. Now both were well short of what the industry has asked for, but 35 billion is a big chasm between the two. And the other thing I guess I'd say is even beyond the Senate, we also know that the broader political emphasis in higher ed is very different between the two parties.

Michael Horn:

The Democrats are often focusing on say for-profit universities or free college, whereas the Republicans are much more interested in free speech issues say, and things of that nature. And there's also big differences among the political appointees within the executive branch, within the Department of Education itself, which we may get to discuss soon with having two former secretaries of education on the show. But right now we have a pendulum, frankly, in terms of regulation, forget about legislation, but regulation.

Michael Horn:

Right now we have a pendulum where every time the opposite party comes in, a whole bunch of stuff changes back to what it was for eight years earlier. I think it must be difficult for those institutions on the ground trying to manage against that. But that brings up, I think the other piece that they talked about Jeff, which is they talked about the inner workings of the bill making process itself. So back to the legislation side, and I know you covered the Hill for a bit with the Chronicle right before they both got there actually. What's your take about their description and what in your mind is missing? I think from that inner workings.

Jeff Selingo:

Well, it's no doubt that the voice of the student is missing that anecdote that Alison talked about student loans, right. And there were no students in the room, right? And so the voices of students in legislation, I remember covering the Hill and going to these hearings and there was a lobbyist for everybody there, whether it was the associations or individual institutions. But what's interesting, that was 20 plus years ago. And it's clear that we've been talking about student centered institutions and the needs of learners, right off of our conversation with Michelle Weise a few weeks ago, the idea of lifelong learning. So I think we need to really move away from this definition of the unit of measure being the student. Because really the unit measure is the learner now, and the learner may not be associated with a particular institution or a particular type of institution now.

Jeff Selingo:

And so in some ways this is even more important now that the needs and the voices of learners get into the policy-making debates. So it's not even just the students, because unfortunately I think when we think of students, we think of young people who go to college in a physical place, but that's not what we're necessarily talking about here. The other thing that really struck me is as Alison and Julie, we're talking, is that policy making is sausage making, right? And it happens usually in person in back rooms, might happen on Capitol Hill, over drinks and things like that and none of that is happening. And I think that being virtual right now for a lot of these staff members must really hurt. I sit on a board of trustee we're about to have a virtual meeting. It will be a year since we met in person.

Jeff Selingo:

And I can see that the working relationship between some trustees, I really like to see in person is really starting to not fray now, but just different. It's just different. And I could imagine the same thing is happening in policymaking, both at the federal level and at the state level where a lot of this just comes to be because of conversations that you're having. Again in more casual settings, over lunch or coffee or a drink or even in more formal settings. And so in speaking of staffers, Michael, both Julie and Alison described the average staffer on the Hill, right. Young and out of mostly traditional colleges, probably four year colleges. And I might argue that many of them from selective colleges in many cases too.

Jeff Selingo:

Beyond the fact that we know today's traditional students are not yesterday's traditional students. I wanted to know what are some of the big issues you think they're missing as a result? If you got 30 minutes with a staff member to talk just generally about higher ed, not any particular bill, what would you tell them about the ecosystem that you see today in higher ed?

Michael Horn:

Yeah, it's a great question, Jeff. I think it's easy to say working adult learners, working adult learners, working adult learners, that plays obviously into what you were just talking about in terms of yesterday's traditional students are different from today's. But I think I might go a different direction, which is that these categories between higher education and workforce training are really falling apart. I think in many respects and just have the same meaning that they used to do. And so a lot of these programs that get... Are we having some interruption issues by the way?

Jeff Selingo:

You were, but I think because you're recording locally, we should be okay. Right. That's why I didn't say anything.

Michael Horn:

Okay. Gotcha. You dropped at my end. It was weird. Okay.

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. And you dropped on my end.

Michael Horn:

Okay. Sorry. I'll just pick it up.

Jeff Selingo:

Just pick it up wherever you are.

Michael Horn:

Yeah.

Jeff Selingo:

My feeling is Michael, [inaudible 00:29:26] probably tell if we're wrong. If we see something like that, we should just keep going because we're probably okay recording. Okay.

Michael Horn:

Okay. Okay. Got it.

Jeff Selingo:

Okay.

Michael Horn:

Okay. Sorry about that. I'll take it right from there. And Jeff, these distinctions I just don't think are as meaningful as they once were where people really... Workforce programs out of the Department of Labor were one thing and the higher ed administration of financial aid out of the Department of Education was completely different. The very cool thing is the help committee just on the House side, right? Sees both sides of that and integrating those issues to me and seeing all of them as different forms of higher ed, or we might say post-secondary ed and training and upskilling with different purposes. But a more unified system, that's less confusing both to the learner and frankly, the institutions themselves, I think, would be a giant leap forward.

Michael Horn:

Now, it gets me Jeff, I guess, to transition into a lightning round as we wrap up here. And with just the few minutes we have left before we get to a listener question, I'd be curious as you're looking at the stimulus bill and so forth, and there's going to be more stimulus bills that come down, I suspect over the next 12 months, what do you think needs to be in the next stimulus for students, Jeff?

Jeff Selingo:

So this won't be popular with ASU where I have an academic connection, or I sit on a board of a private college.

Michael Horn:

Don't hold back.

Jeff Selingo:

I'm not going to, but we've split a lot of the money up to this point. A lot of the stimulus money between institutions and students. And I just think we need to get more dollars in the hands of students and let them vote with their feet during this pandemic and even after the pandemic. But it's clear from the data that we're seeing, whether it's FAFSA completions or the data that we're seeing in applications from the Common App, that this pandemic is having a greater impact on the potentially the college going plans of low-income and first-generation students. And so if we don't want to lose an entire generation of those students potentially going to college, because we know if they don't start, many students don't start, they're never going to go to some sort of post-secondary education.

Jeff Selingo:

Then we need to get money in their hands to help them through this pandemic, and then let the institutions compete for them. Compete with programs, compete with the flexibility that many of these students need. Let them use that money at non traditional providers. But this idea that we're going to give all this money to post-secondary education, but we're going to split it between institutions and students. To be honest with you, I don't think it's really helped either because it really has spread the money in a much thinner way than I think it really needs to be at this point. And so continuing on Michael, before the pandemic, if you were setting out an agenda, what is the next two or three issues you tackle in the next year or two in Congress?

Michael Horn:

I get two or three issues, Jeff.

Jeff Selingo:

Well, in a lightning round, I might only-

Michael Horn:

Yeah. Yeah. I'll do one. How about this outcomes, outcomes, outcomes. That's three, which is get away from input let's free up the tyranny of the credit hour to create a competency-based system and not just a pathway for competencies, but a financial aid system that matches and fund it's based on learning as opposed to time and really focus on the outcomes of those programs. And I'll just second what you said, like money follow students and focus on outcomes. That to me is the big shift that we need Congress and the administration to make over the next couple years.

Jeff Selingo:

Right. But I think this all of course goes back to what we were talking about earlier in this program is that the lobbying happens at the institutional level and not at the learner level.

Michael Horn:

Yep. That's right.

Jeff Selingo:

So it's probably going to be a big hurdle to get over. So we are taking listener questions, as we've said on the second half of the season on Future U. So please keep them coming on any social media platform or email them to us. We got a question from Twitter, Michael, for both of us, we've written of course, that it's not where you go to college, it's how you go. And this listener said I'm 100% in agreement with that. What needs to happen to get the general public, to truly buy into that though, especially high school students and parents? Michael, you start.

Michael Horn:

Yeah. It's such a good question. And it's something that you and I tell high school parents and students constantly in our conversations. I think part of this is unlocking the data to show that and the stories beside them. Right? And look, Frank Bruni did it in his book, obviously several years back, but I think it needs to be just said and pointed out more that there are multiple pathways into a good life. And it's really the opportunities you seize on the campus that you go to, the people that you meet, the projects you undertake, the internships and the jobs that you get during that time are going to matter way more in this notion of that I have to go to "an arbitrary best place." The data doesn't necessarily support that. And so I think we need to do a much better job of surfacing that. What's your take?

Jeff Selingo:

Yeah. I think we're getting there. Right? I think the information is there in terms of the college scorecard, we're seeing it in books like Ron Lieber's book around value of college and what you should be looking for, this idea of outcomes now obviously is much more in the conversation than it was even five, 10 years ago. It's just going to take maybe perhaps a generation to get through that. But maybe by the time our kids go to college, they will be asking different questions because an entire generation of students will be asking about the value of the outcomes of going to a particular institution.

Michael Horn:

Well, my bank account will certainly hope that is the case, Jeff, but in the meantime, just a huge thanks to our listeners for tuning in and remember to send questions to us so that we can continue to engage with the things that are on your mind. And until next time stay safe.

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