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.
Voices of Today’s Students
Your State’s Higher Education Profile
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.
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.
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
Voices of Reform
Cheryl Crazy Bull says, Through... treaties, Indian nations ceded the land (on which many state and private universities are located) in exchange for retaining certain inherent rights. Those rights included the right to an education.
Cheryl Crazy Bull
President and CEO, American Indian College Fund
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
Hon. Margaret Spellings says, Opportunity is not a zero-sum game — we all benefit when more students have the chance to succeed in a growing economy, and we all gain from a more educated citizenry that better reflects the changing face of our nation.
Hon. Margaret Spellings
President of the University of North Carolina System
Jeremy Rossman says, When my co-founder and I started Make School, we quickly realized that to rewire higher education from the ground up would require creating a new incentive system—one in which students and their families aren’t the only ones with a financial stake in the ultimate outcome of education.
Founder of Make School
Katherine Wheatle says, In this historical collective moment that we face today, it is only fitting that students are connecting what’s happening in the world around them to their educational experiences and challenging the system to expand and transform to better fit their needs.
Strategy Officer for Finance and Federal Policy, Lumina Foundation
Nia Ariel Davis Sigona, Esq. says, I am constantly and consistently inspired by today’s students, and the potential and privilege to translate their stories and experiences into systems of policy that support their (and all of our) success.
Nia Ariel Davis Sigona, Esq.
Government Relations Director, Higher Learning Advocates