Higher Learning Advocates’ federal policy resources include the most current data on adult students, parenting students, college affordability, equity, and more. Our work has resulted in positive change for today’s students, including access to discounted broadband for Pell students, the establishment of emergency aid funds, and increased financial aid for parenting students.

101: Career and Technical Education

What is Career Technical Education? Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares learners for college and careers by providing academic and technical skills needed to succeed in the workforce at the secondary and postsecondary levels. CTE aligns education and the workforce to ensure that today’s students are learning the skills needed in the competitive job market. Nearly…
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101: Equity Gaps in Higher Education

What is an Educational Equity Gap? An educational equity gap is where there is a significant and persistent disparity in educational attainment between different groups of students. The equity gap that exists between white students and students of color begins in K-12 education — where 87 percent of white students graduate high school on-time compared…
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101: FAFSA

What is the FAFSA? The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a federal application that will determine a student’s eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. All students who wish to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs must complete the FAFSA. Many states and most institutions of higher education require…
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Recommendations to Support Students of Color

Today, Higher Learning Advocates submitted proposals in response to a request from Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) on empowering students of color and ensuring their success in postsecondary education. Today’s students, and in particular today’s students of color, often face significant challenges…
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101: Negotiated Rulemaking

A Quirk of Federal Higher Education Policy: Negotiated Rulemaking The Higher Education Act (HEA) requires the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use a process called “negotiated rulemaking” in order to make any changes to programs authorized under HEA’s Title IV, the section that houses federal financial aid programs and affects more than $130 billion…
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Issue Brief: Multiple Pathways & Quality Assurance

The world of credentials is much broader than a 2- or 4- year degree. One in four Americans has a non-degree credential or certificate. We invest around $150 billion in traditional higher education, but many promising new entrants, even those showing promising results, still can’t participate in federal student aid programs. Our new issue brief outlines…
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Exploring Key Questions: Program-Level Repayment for Higher Education Accountability

A growing number of advocates and policy experts believe that institutions of higher education should be held accountable for repayment rates based on their specific program of study within the institution. To take a deeper look at how program-level repayment might be used as a tool for greater accountability and transparency, Higher Learning Advocates commissioned this…
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101: Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)

What is Income-Driven Repayment (IDR)? Income-driven repayment (IDR) is a federal student loan repayment program that allows students to repay their loans based on their income, family size, and loan balance. Since 1994, the federal government has offered income-driven repayment plan options to help borrowers with lower earning power repay loans at a slower pace…
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State Profiles

State profiles feature key data points, visual infographics, and brief explanations of all 50 states, and are a quick and easy resource for policymakers, analysts and media.

Find Your State