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
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.
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.
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
Higher Learning Advocates & Sixty Partner Organizations Urge Congress to Include the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students in Need Act in the Next Relief Package
WASHINGTON (June 17, 2020) — Sixty-one organizations came together today to urge Congress to include the Supporting Connectivity for Higher Education Students …
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
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
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
Dr. Dewayne Matthews says, "I honestly believe there is no more urgent task facing our nation than to build a system that helps Americans gain the skills to go as far as their desire, effort, and talent can take them."
Dr. Dewayne Matthews
Senior Fellow, Lumina Foundation
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
Joe Garcia says, Equity can’t be an “additional duty as assigned” to one individual or a hastily formed committee. To truly achieve equity, “it takes a college.”
Chancellor, Colorado Community College System