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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Deborah Santiago says, Policies, programs, and institutional efforts that adapt to better serve Latino students are more likely to serve all of their students better. In the same vein, federal financial aid policy that applies a Latino lens can serve today’s students better.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Excelencia in Education
Ashley Harrington says, Because we know [of] substantial racial income and wealth gaps are a reality in this country, and we know that wealth and income, though sometimes related, are by no means equivalent, we must create policies that make access to the middle-class and wealth building open to everyone, explicitly recognizing and accounting for the extra challenges faced by borrowers of color.
Federal Advocacy Director, Center for Responsible Lending
Joey Hatch says, I’m a fervent believer in offering our citizens access to a college education that is not only affordable, but also quality, meaningful and connected to growing employment opportunities.
Retired Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Building Inc.
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