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
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.
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates & Sixty Partner Organizations Urge Congress to Include the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act in the Next Relief Package
WASHINGTON (June 17, 2020) — Sixty-one organizations came together today to urge Congress to include the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students …
Voices of Reform
Sara Goldrick-Rab says, When Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Act, it must invest in a higher education system that leverages talent in order to propel innovation, create healthier communities, and fuel a more just economy that works for all. Doing so requires a clear focus on supporting today’s #RealCollege students.
Founder of the Hope Center for College Community and Justice in Philadelphia, and Professor of Higher Education and Sociology at Temple University
Emily Bouck says, To equip students with the skills for workforce success and respond to the pressures of economic disruption, we need a system of higher learning that enables students of all ages and family circumstances to seamlessly continue, return to, and complete their education.
Policy & Advocacy Director, Higher Learning Advocates
Melanie D’Evelyn says, Our belief is that the same policy innovations that meet business needs can also increase educational equity and success across the region. Initial results are promising.
Director, Detroit Drives Degrees
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed says, Our students need champions who believe in their unlimited potential.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed
Commissioner, Lousiana Commission of Higher Education
Julie Peller says, It is time once again for the nation’s policymakers to fundamentally rethink the way we organize, finance and support higher learning. Through bipartisan cooperation, a hard-nosed look at the research, and an unwavering focus on students, that goal is well within reach.
Executive Director, Higher Learning Advocates
Dr. Barbara Damron says, Educational opportunity is not only key to getting a good job in today’s economy, but it can also keep individuals out of the criminal justice and public assistance systems, and promote healthier and more prosperous lives for them and their family members. I feel that every day we work in the student success movement, we're doing work that will save lives.
Dr. Barbara Damron
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department