The topic of pushing colleges to improve their performance, sometimes through increasingly common formulas that would link state financing to student completion, topped the group’s selections for 2013. That choice knocked state higher-education financing out of the top spot for the first time in the six years that the list has been compiled. The change reflects “the broadening acceptance that state reinvestment in public higher education will be slow in coming—and institutions must readjust both their operations and revenue mix accordingly,” the group noted.
Other topics on this year’s list include tuition prices and tuition policy, ranked third; college readiness, ranked fifth; and competency-based and online education, ranked seventh. Completing the list in the 10th spot is consumer protection involving for-profit colleges, with the U.S. Senate and several state legislatures expected to continue scrutinizing such institutions, the group said.