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
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.
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.
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
Today’s Students Need Continued Policy Reforms in Response to COVID-19
To support today’s students during and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress and the Department of Education must take critical steps by removing outd…
Higher Learning Advocates Applauds Passage of the CARES Act, Which Includes Higher Education Provisions to Support Today’s Students
WASHINGTON (March 27, 2020) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement in response to the higher education p…
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)
Nia Ariel Davis Sigona, Esq. says, I am constantly and consistently inspired by today’s students, and the potential and privilege to translate their stories and experiences into systems of policy that support their (and all of our) success.
Nia Ariel Davis Sigona, Esq.
Government Relations Director, Higher Learning Advocates
Robert Wright says, The Pell Grant allowed me to receive an education that mentally and emotionally prepared me for reentry back into a society that isn’t always welcoming for people like me. With this education came options that will prevent me from reaching moments of desperation.
Research Assistant at the Center for Justice at Columbia University
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
Jorden Favors says, A school is only as successful as its most vulnerable population.
Student, Pomona College
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