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
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Voices of Reform
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
Brian Fitzgerald says, Businesses can play a unique role in collaborating with higher education institutions to develop human capital, but first we need to develop the partnerships and processes that foster real-time skill development. Our economy demands it, and our students deserve it.
Chief Executive Officer, Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF)
Jamie Merisotis says, I believe that higher ed policy offers the chance to help millions of people take good fortune out of the equation, creating opportunities to succeed for their own benefit and for the benefit of all Americans.
President and CEO, Lumina Foundation
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
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
Deborah Santiago says, Policies, programs, and institutional efforts that adapt to better serve Latino students are more likely to serve all of their students better. In the same vein, federal financial aid policy that applies a Latino lens can serve today’s students better.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Excelencia in Education