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.
2020 & Higher Learning Advocates
Your State’s Higher Education Profile
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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Money: Why It’s So Hard for College Students Who Are Parents to Actually Earn Their Degrees
"Tysa Rose had done everything she was supposed to when she enrolled in her local community college in Fargo, North Dakota, two years ago. She signed up for cl…
U.S. News & World Report: College Enrollment Caps – What to Know
"Public colleges and universities were designed to serve the educational needs of those who live in the state. To uphold that mission, some schools and states …
Voices of Reform
Michele Siqueiros says, I am passionate about the role policy can play to change people's lives. It changed mine. It’s policy that gave me a Cal grant. It's policy that allowed me to get a federally-subsidized loan so that what seemed unaffordable became affordable.
President, The Campaign for College Opportunity
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)
Denise Pearson says, As a first-generation college graduate employed by an organization that promotes equity in higher education policies and practices, I am encouraged by ongoing conversations and actions among higher education policymakers and others that aim to improve access and outcomes for all students, regardless of their starting point in life and particularly among underrepresented (also referred to as “underestimated”) citizens of America.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives, State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO)
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
Andy MacCracken says, As the country searches for innovative solutions to challenges facing higher education around equity, safety, student well-being and success, perhaps the most innovative solution does not require an expensive white paper and a crack team of consultants. It’s something much easier and far less costly: listening to the students.
Co-founder & Executive Director, National Campus Leadership Council
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