Policy Toolkit: Today’s Students

Policy Toolkit: Today’s Students

As members of the 116th Congress continue to discuss the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) and other key issues, policymakers should keep today’s students at the center of conversations and decision-making.

Today’s students are more diverse than any previous generation of college students: they’re diverse in age, race, and income level. They’re more mobile and may not live on campus. Most participate in the workforce, either full-time or part-time. Work and family responsibilities beyond the classroom—whether that is on-campus or online—often compete with the educational goals of today’s students. Younger workers are changing jobs as many as four times by age 32, so lifelong learning and continuing education have quickly become the norm for most adults.

Higher Learning Advocates’ Policy Toolkit for Today’s Students includes recommendations for policymakers looking for solutions to better serve today’s students. These ten fresh policy ideas work toward an improved postsecondary system that strengthens federal aid policy and student supports in an effort to better equip students with tools that lead to academic and economic success. This policy toolkit offers recommendations around:

Student supports

Student parents

Federal financial aid

It’s time to put the realities of today’s students at the center of federal higher education policy. Federal financial aid programs and policies must be redesigned to work better for today’s students and their realities. Higher Learning Advocates identifies critical barriers that exist to student success and proposes federal policy changes that will better serve all students of all backgrounds and walks of life.

Download the policy toolkit here or download the policy toolkit one-page summary here.