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
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.
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.
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
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. says, College changed the course of my life – and fueled a desire for social justice and equity in society...However, for many people, achieving the American dream still often depends on their zip code, family income, or skin color. I imagine a world where that is no longer the case – and am working to promote higher education to make that vision a reality.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.
President, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D. says, The promise of higher education is truly fulfilled when all students who begin the task of earning a degree successfully complete the journey.
Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.
President, The Institute for Higher Education Policy
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says, If our nation is going to confront the challenges of the twenty-first century economy, it is imperative that we equip future generations of Americans with the tools they need to succeed and the opportunity to pursue dignified work.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
Jorden Favors says, A school is only as successful as its most vulnerable population.
Student, Pomona College
Pam Bowers says, Improving the quality of student learning data advances an institution’s ability to report student learning achievement on transcripts; conduct analyses to gain insights into student persistence, timely graduation, and post-graduation employment; and to advance institutional effectiveness.
Associate Vice President, University of South Carolina
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