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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Melanie D’Evelyn says, Our belief is that the same policy innovations that meet business needs can also increase educational equity and success across the region. Initial results are promising.
Director, Detroit Drives Degrees
Ryan Craig says, America needs a thriving traditional system of colleges and universities that minimizes debt and maximizes workforce and civic potential. Achieving this goal means facing the crisis of graduate employability and rethinking our current system of accreditation.
Managing Director, University Ventures
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
F. King Alexander says, If our nation is serious about solving the higher education crisis and remaining a beacon of social mobility, then any true attempt at reauthorization must include a federal-state partnership that uses federal dollars to incentivize better state investment and behavior.
F. King Alexander
President of Louisiana State University
Antonio Flores says, Increasing access to education and improving college graduation rates are fundamental keys to ensuring that Hispanics, one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S., can fully experience liberty and justice for all.
President and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)