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
Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement on President-Elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan
WASHINGTON (January 15, 2021) — Higher Learning Advocates applauds President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan and its focus on the needs of today’s students.…
Higher Learning Advocates’ Statement Regarding Secretary of Education Nominee
WASHINGTON (December 22, 2020) — Higher Learning Advocates congratulates Miguel Cardona, President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education in the inco…
#ConnectCollegeStudents Legislative Victories & More in Year-End Deal
WASHINGTON (December 21, 2020) — Today, Congress introduced an omnibus funding package combined with additional coronavirus relief. The following statement can…
Voices of Reform
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.
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
Sara Goldrick-Rab says, When Congress reauthorizes the Higher Education Act, it must invest in a higher education system that leverages talent in order to propel innovation, create healthier communities, and fuel a more just economy that works for all. Doing so requires a clear focus on supporting today’s #RealCollege students.
Founder of the Hope Center for College Community and Justice in Philadelphia, and Professor of Higher Education and Sociology at Temple University
Denise Pearson says, As a first-generation college graduate employed by an organization that promotes equity in higher education policies and practices, I am encouraged by ongoing conversations and actions among higher education policymakers and others that aim to improve access and outcomes for all students, regardless of their starting point in life and particularly among underrepresented (also referred to as “underestimated”) citizens of America.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)
Emily Bouck says, To equip students with the skills for workforce success and respond to the pressures of economic disruption, we need a system of higher learning that enables students of all ages and family circumstances to seamlessly continue, return to, and complete their education.
Policy & Advocacy Director, Higher Learning Advocates
Andy MacCracken says, As the country searches for innovative solutions to challenges facing higher education around equity, safety, student well-being and success, perhaps the most innovative solution does not require an expensive white paper and a crack team of consultants. It’s something much easier and far less costly: listening to the students.
Co-founder & Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council