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 Urges Congress to Prioritize Today’s Students in Final Coronavirus Package
WASHINGTON (July 28, 2020) — Yesterday, Senate Republicans released their coronavirus relief plan, the HEALS Act, which is aimed at supporting Americans as the…
CBS 19 News: Reopening schools can affect all types of students
Executive Director Julie Peller appeared on CBS 19 News to discuss colleges and universities reopening this fall and how decisions can affect all of today's st…
Voices of Reform
Denise Forte says, Today, even though the U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse, Black and Latino adults are less likely to hold a college degree than White adults did in 1990, and are underrepresented at public colleges and universities in nearly every state.
Senior Vice President for Partnerships and Engagement, Education Trust
Moises Mendoza says, There are so many brilliant students that never make it to college because of the complicated process. If we make college more accessible the brilliant students from my high school would not only improve the college communities but also the country as a whole.
Scholar, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America
Dr. Angela Boatman says, It is my hope that we, as a field, continue to identify policies and practices in education that help all people move toward their own fullest capabilities; to feel included rather than excluded, and to feel empowered rather than powerless. I believe this is the most important work we can do, both for our colleges and for our democracy.
Dr. Angela Boatman
Associate Professor, Boston College
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed says, Our students need champions who believe in their unlimited potential.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed
Commissioner, Lousiana Commission of Higher Education
Cheryl Crazy Bull says, Through... treaties, Indian nations ceded the land (on which many state and private universities are located) in exchange for retaining certain inherent rights. Those rights included the right to an education.
Cheryl Crazy Bull
President and CEO, American Indian College Fund
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