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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates & Forty-Six Partner Organizations Urge Congress to Support Student Parents
WASHINGTON (September 18, 2020) — Forty-seven organizations came together today to urge Congress to provide more supports for student parents, particularly in …
WHII-TV Beaufort News: Julie Peller, Higher Learning Advocates
Executive Director Julie Peller spoke with WHII-TV Beaufort News about how colleges and universities should be flexible with students as they return for fall s…
CBS19 News: Emergency aid needed for fall semester students
Executive Director Julie Peller joined CBS19 News to discuss how federal funding can help today's students, who have been hit hard by the pandemic. “Being sure…
Voices of Reform
Julie Peller says, Today’s students don’t experience higher education in a silo, and we should not treat policy as if they do.
Executive Director at Higher Learning Advocates
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. says, College changed the course of my life – and fueled a desire for social justice and equity in society...However, for many people, achieving the American dream still often depends on their zip code, family income, or skin color. I imagine a world where that is no longer the case – and am working to promote higher education to make that vision a reality.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.
President, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Scott Cheney says, But for market-based policies and approaches to have the greatest chance of the best outcomes, and to be their most efficient and effective, there has to be a full and intentional commitment to open data and transparency. Without it, markets almost always skew toward the overwhelming benefit of those actors who own the data—in this case, institutions, providers, and systems—not students, workers, veterans, employers and the public.
Executive Director, Credential Engine
Ryan Craig says, America needs a thriving traditional system of colleges and universities that minimizes debt and maximizes workforce and civic potential. Achieving this goal means facing the crisis of graduate employability and rethinking our current system of accreditation.
Managing Director, University Ventures
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. says, The promise of higher education is truly fulfilled when all students who begin the task of earning a degree successfully complete the journey.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.
President, The Institute for Higher Education Policy
Dr. José Luis Cruz says, There are millions of students who are coming of age in America today, but -- because of the color of their skin, the balance of their checking account, their place of origin, or the tenets of their faith -- have not been afforded the opportunities they need to meet their full potential.
Dr. José Luis Cruz
President, Herbert H. Lehman College of The City University of New York