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.
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.
Latest News and Resources
Money: Why It’s So Hard for College Students Who Are Parents to Actually Earn Their Degrees
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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
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
Dr. José Luis Cruz says, There are millions of students who are coming of age in America today, but -- because of the color of their skin, the balance of their checking account, their place of origin, or the tenets of their faith -- have not been afforded the opportunities they need to meet their full potential.
Dr. José Luis Cruz
President, Herbert H. Lehman College of The City University of New York
Amelia Parnell says, Postsecondary education is an avenue for students to become more engaged citizens, contributors to the public good, and advocates for themselves and others.
Vice President for Research and Policy, NASPA
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
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
Dr. Barbara Damron says, Educational opportunity is not only key to getting a good job in today’s economy, but it can also keep individuals out of the criminal justice and public assistance systems, and promote healthier and more prosperous lives for them and their family members. I feel that every day we work in the student success movement, we're doing work that will save lives.
Dr. Barbara Damron
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department