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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Higher Learning Advocates & 29 Partners Applauds the Passage of the National Student Parent Month Resolution
WASHINGTON (September 22, 2021) — Today, Higher Learning Advocates and 29 partner organizations sent a letter to Senator Tammy Duckworth and Senator Jerry Mora…
Inside Higher Ed: First-Year Students Struggled With Online Learning Last Year
"Emily Bouck West, deputy executive director for Higher Learning Advocates, which has been lobbying for broadband affordability programs for students, was pl…
Voices of Reform
Antonio Flores says, Increasing access to education and improving college graduation rates are fundamental keys to ensuring that Hispanics, one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S., can fully experience liberty and justice for all.
President and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
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
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
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.
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
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