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
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.
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.
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
Inside Higher Ed: Education Department Plans to Publish List of Low-Performing Programs
"Nearly a decade after the Obama administration broached the idea of rating colleges and universities, the Biden administration is ready to take another crack …
Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement on the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON (December 23, 2022) — Today, Congress passed the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, including several increases to critical investments f…
Voices of Reform
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
Joey Hatch says, I’m a fervent believer in offering our citizens access to a college education that is not only affordable, but also quality, meaningful and connected to growing employment opportunities.
Retired Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Building Inc.
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
Candice McQueen says, If we want the best education for our students, we have to provide the best preparation for our educators.
CEO at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
John Englehart says, ...[T]oday’s students need real legislation and policy to come to life that can help students like myself afford a college journey and make the American dream a reality not just for students, but also the families we are raising.
Graduate, University of Maryland University College
Hon. Margaret Spellings says, Opportunity is not a zero-sum game — we all benefit when more students have the chance to succeed in a growing economy, and we all gain from a more educated citizenry that better reflects the changing face of our nation.
Hon. Margaret Spellings
President of the University of North Carolina System