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.
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.
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 Urges Congress to Prioritize Today’s Students in Final Coronavirus Package
WASHINGTON (July 28, 2020) — Yesterday, Senate Republicans released their coronavirus relief plan, the HEALS Act, which is aimed at supporting Americans as the…
CBS 19 News: Reopening schools can affect all types of students
Executive Director Julie Peller appeared on CBS 19 News to discuss colleges and universities reopening this fall and how decisions can affect all of today's st…
Voices of Reform
Joe Garcia says, Equity can’t be an “additional duty as assigned” to one individual or a hastily formed committee. To truly achieve equity, “it takes a college.”
Chancellor, Colorado Community College 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
Rose García says, As Congress works to reauthorize HEA, it must invest in holistic student success models that incorporate a strong anti-poverty, racial equity focus. These models must couple clear and guided pathways with comprehensive academic and financial supports. They must also connect students to public benefits, mental health services, cultural and community centers, and other campus and community resources that allow them to thrive in school and beyond.
Director of Postsecondary Education and Workforce Development at the Center for Law and Social Policy
Charla Long says, CBE is no panacea, but done well, it can deliver a strong value proposition for students, especially those who might otherwise not have access to higher education. The key to delivering on that promise is an unwavering focus on quality and careful design. In other words, if we want to increase the number of online CBE programs anytime soon, we have to get serious now.
Executive Director, Competency-Based Education Network
Michele Siqueiros says, I am passionate about the role policy can play to change people's lives. It changed mine. It’s policy that gave me a Cal grant. It's policy that allowed me to get a federally-subsidized loan so that what seemed unaffordable became affordable.
President, The Campaign for College Opportunity
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed says, If higher education is to fulfill its mission of delivering opportunity and socials mobility to all Americans, we will need to craft a new policy agenda that puts student outcomes at the center.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed
Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education