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.
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.
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.
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 of Support for ACCESS to Careers Act
WASHINGTON (February 11, 2020) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement to express Higher Learning Advocat…
Higher Learning Advocates Endorses the Accreditation Reform Act
WASHINGTON (February 6, 2020) — Julie Peller, Executive Director of Higher Learning Advocates, made the following statement to express Higher Learning Advocate…
Voices of Reform
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC) says, I believe everyone should have the opportunity to achieve the dream of postsecondary education, it’s an issue I will never stop fighting to protect.
Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
House Committee on Education and Labor
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
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
Amelia Parnell says, Postsecondary education is an avenue for students to become more engaged citizens, contributors to the public good, and advocates for themselves and others.
Vice President for Research and Policy, NASPA
Harry Holzer says, In 2020, both a strong economy and a presidential campaign will require us to pay more attention to the many factors, like skill limitations, that currently prevent millions of US workers from improving their earnings and their access to the middle class.
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
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