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.
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
Senators Introduce Bipartisan FUTURE Act Amendment to Simplify FAFSA, Streamline Repayment, and Permanently Fund HBCUs and MSIs
WASHINGTON (December 4, 2019) — Yesterday, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Mur…
Higher Learning Advocates Endorses the Helping Student Parents Succeed Act
WASHINGTON (November 21, 2019) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement to express Higher Learning Advocat…
Policy Brief Recommends Changes to Federal Aid Requirements
Deputy Executive Director Emily Bouck West argues in Diverse Issues in Higher Education that holding institutions accountable on a program-level basis can show…
Voices of Reform
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
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
Araceli Becerra says, But students should not have to rely on luck to afford higher education. The higher education system needs to be reformed to make colleges and universities more accessible, as well as have them equipped with the resources to best support students of various backgrounds as they complete their degree.
Student at Pomona College
India Heckstall says, To build an equitable higher education system worthy of the name, we must respond to the new disparities that affect the working adult, the student parent, the returning veteran, and others. Only then can higher education live up to its fundamental promise of upward mobility and complete the work begun by the equity and civil rights pioneers generations ago.
Program Associate, Higher Learning Advocates
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
Jan Yoshiwara says, Higher education has an opportunity, and an imperative, to shift the cultural perceptions and attitudes around what intelligence and talent looks like in today’s world and economy.
Executive Director, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges