" ACTA has repeatedly warned of what is at the very core of this scandal: an overwhelming focus on prestige in college choice, rather than educational quality. Rather than valuing an institution for its demonstrated commitment to rigorous academic standards and to student achievement, too many American families view the name on a bumper sticker or diploma as a status symbol, like the designer name on a handbag.
ACTA has been working to fight the commodification of higher education for years. Our annual core curriculum report, What Will They Learn?, highlights a list of “Hidden Gems” that have a rigorous core curriculum at an affordable price. The report also generally finds that the most prestigious schools shirk their responsibility to promote a core set of knowledge and skills. There are hundreds of affordable institutions across the country that are deeply committed to student success, and we must all look to support them. "