The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is spending millions to change the way we think about higher education. It includes potential changes on how students receive federal aid, and projects that aim to deliver a college degree that costs no more than $5,000 a year. But is it a good thing—and what really needs fixing?

“In higher education, many leaders and faculty members voice concerns about the Gates foundation’s growing and disproportionate impact. Many private-college presidents, in particular, feel shut out of discussions about reform. Yet few of those critics speak out in public, and some higher-education leaders, researchers, and lobbyists were reluctant to talk on the record for this article. The reason? They didn’t want to scotch their chances of winning Gates grants.”