Today’s students come from all walks of life. They are parents, working adults, veterans, online students and first-generation college-goers, following many pathways through higher education. They need a system that is flexible, affordable and responsive to their needs. Federal policy must reflect who today’s students are.
Quality & Outcomes
High-quality outcomes are paramount, but current quality assurance approaches are inadequate. The nation needs a system of quality assurance based on high-quality learning and focused on students and their outcomes. Federal policy must raise the bar for quality, promote innovation and shift from inputs to outcomes.
2020 & Higher Learning Advocates
Your State’s Higher Education Profile
Our Higher Education Act (HEA) recommendations are for the critical improvements that are needed to remedy the disconnect between federal policy and the needs of today’s students, and ensure our federal higher education programs work for the current and future generations.
Champions Network: Bipartisan Leaders United for Today’s Students
The Higher Learning Advocates Champions Network is a group of forward-thinking state and local leaders devoted to improving quality, outcomes and affordability in postsecondary education. Learn more about how these reformers are driving student success through student-focused policies and practices at the state and local level. Discover more about the Champions Network.
Higher Education Policy: 101
Complex policy issues need simple explanations. Featuring visual infographics, compact definitions anduser-friendly explanations, our 101 explainers offer policymakers, analysts and media a quick and easy to consume explanation of key policy issues in postsecondary education.
Today’s Adult Students
Many adult students have different responsibilities—including work and family—on their path to a degree or credential. Sixty-four percent of students work either full-time or part-time. One quarter of students are parents, and 49 percent are financially independent. With different responsibilities, adult students need policies that cater directly to their needs.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement on the Providing Assistance for Transit Help (PATH) to College Act
WASHINGTON (November 18, 2021) — Today, Representative Lamb (D-PA), Representative Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Representative Wilson (FL-24), Representative Katko (NY-…
Higher Learning Advocates Statement on the Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
(WASHINGTON) 05, 2021 — Today, the president signed the Infrastructure and JOBS Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, into law, a bill th…
Voices of Reform
Jorden Favors says, A school is only as successful as its most vulnerable population.
Student, Pomona College
Dr. Dewayne Matthews says, "I honestly believe there is no more urgent task facing our nation than to build a system that helps Americans gain the skills to go as far as their desire, effort, and talent can take them."
Dr. Dewayne Matthews
Senior Fellow, Lumina Foundation
Jillian Klein says, As the country works toward economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are at least 10 million unemployed Americans, many of whom are looking to higher education as a pathway to their next career step. Now more than ever, adult learners are keenly aware of the return of investment they receive from higher education—and expecting it quickly.
Vice President, Government & Regulatory Affairs, Strategic Education, Inc.
Ashley Harrington says, Because we know [of] substantial racial income and wealth gaps are a reality in this country, and we know that wealth and income, though sometimes related, are by no means equivalent, we must create policies that make access to the middle-class and wealth building open to everyone, explicitly recognizing and accounting for the extra challenges faced by borrowers of color.
Federal Advocacy Director, Center for Responsible Lending
Amber Angel says, Within the framework of equity, institutions of higher education need to take a look at how student parents are represented and served. Are there adequate policies in place to support parenting students? Are there appropriate professional training opportunities so that staff and faculty are well-versed in who they are serving?
Andy MacCracken says, As the country searches for innovative solutions to challenges facing higher education around equity, safety, student well-being and success, perhaps the most innovative solution does not require an expensive white paper and a crack team of consultants. It’s something much easier and far less costly: listening to the students.
Co-founder & Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council