Path to Prosperity

The National Association of Scholars upholds the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship.

Note: The National Association of Scholars is delighted to host The Path to Prosperity statement until such time as it acquires its own independent website. NAS admires the principles enunciated in Path to Prosperity, but it has neither created nor sponsored the statement. For further queries about Path to Prosperity, please contact Nicholas Capaldi.

Higher education was once a bulwark of American freedom. Today it is a demoralizing force in society. Universities have lost their way. They have become bloated and unresponsive, because of excessive government support, exploitive student loans, and foreign money. They claim to be the best way to prepare students for success in America, yet in much of what they do, they undermine America and her institutions. Nowhere do they present an accurate, coherent, or honest assessment of America’s role in world affairs.

Young men and women enroll in colleges and universities enticed by the promise that their degree certificates will open the door to well-paying, interesting, and attractive work. Instead, many of them struggle with unrepayable debt, cannot find gratifying jobs, and succumb to despair. Parents hope that through higher education their children will fulfill the American dream and be prepared for difficult challenges abroad; instead, they increasingly conclude that their sons and daughters have wasted half a decade on a degree certificate that does nothing to help them become competent, successful, citizens.

We must educate for prosperity and security, at both the personal and national level. Colleges and universities should prioritize the teaching of practical and intellectual skills, with a view to developing citizen competence. Citizen competence is the precondition for national prosperity in a challenging global economy.

Toward these ends we support:

  1. Fiscal Accountability
  2. Career Education
  3. Freedom
  4. National Interest

  1. Fiscal Accountability
    1. Net Price Calculator Improvement Act: Make technical improvements to the Net Price Calculator system so that prospective students may have a more accurate understanding of the true cost of college. Senate Bill 1448: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    2. Understanding the Truce Cost of College Act of 2021: To require a standard financial aid offer form. Senate Bill 1452: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    3. Ivory Tower Tax Act of 2021: Amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to apply a 1 percent excise tax on large endowments of certain private colleges and universities, to require that such institutions distribute at least 5 percent of large endowments in each taxable year. Senate Bill 1547: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    4. Require a reduction of the size of higher education administration and non-academic support staff. Freedom to Learn: Recommendation 1.1: Link Title IV Eligibility to Administrative Reduction (National Association of Scholars, 2020).
    5. Link university eligibility to receive federal student loans to prohibiting material benefits to foreign citizens, including illegal aliens and permanent residents. Freedom to Learn: Recommendation 8.6: Forbid Sanctuary Campuses (National Association of Scholars, 2020).
    6. Higher Education Reform and Opportunity Act of 2019: To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for accreditation reform, to require institutions of higher education to publish information regarding student success, to provide for fiscal accountability, and to provide for school accountability for student loans. Senate Bill 2339: 116th Congress (2019-2020).
  2. Career Education
    1. Supporting the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month: Supporting the goals and ideals of Career and Technical Education Month. House Resolution 99: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    2. American Workforce Investment in Next Generation of Students Act: To establish a pilot program to promote public-private partnerships among apprenticeships or other job training programs, local education agencies or area career and technical education schools, and community colleges, and for other purposes. House Bill 4655: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
  3. Freedom
    1. For the Parents Act: To ban the teaching of critical race theory in public education. House Bill 6262: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    2. Campus Free Speech Restoration Act: Ton ensure that public institutions of higher education eschew policies that improperly constrain the expressive rights of students, and to ensure that private institutions of higher education are transparent about, and responsible for, their chosen speech policies. House Bill 4007: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    3. Link Federal Student Loan Eligibility to Due Process Protection. Freedom to Learn: Recommendation 4.1: Link Federal Student Loan Eligibility to Due Process Protection (National Association of Scholars, 2020).
  4. National Interest
    1. Concerns Over Nations Funding University Campus Institutes in the United States Act; or, CONFUCIUS Act: to establish limitations regarding Confucius Institutes. Senate Bill 590: 117th Congress (2021-2022).
    2. Zero Foreign Influence in Education Act of 2021: To Amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to strengthen the disclosure requirements for institutions of higher education related to foreign gifts and contracts. House Bill 3136: 117th Congress (2021-2022).