We introduce two new methods of holding colleges accountable for their role in excessive student loan debt.

  • New data from the U.S. Department of Education provide median earnings and median student loan debt for recent graduates.
  • These data can help students, parents, colleges, and policymakers distinguish between college programs where student loan debt can be worthwhile and programs where student loan debt is excessive.
  • Federal and state policymakers can also use these data to hold colleges accountable when they leave their students with excessive student loan debt.
  • Two promising accountability metrics are Debt as a Percent of Earnings and Gainful Employment Equivalent.
  • Around 5% of college programs would lose eligibility to participate in the student loan programs under our recommended accountability systems.