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Higher Education

Penn State campus

Strengthening Our Economy Through College for All

article icon Issue Brief The United States is less prepared than its competitor nations to meet the demands of the global economy. To address the current and growing skills gap, it is time to ensure that no one will have to worry about where to get the money to enroll in a public college in the United States.

Undocumented college student

Removing Barriers to Higher Education for Undocumented Students

book_alt2 icon Report Undocumented students must navigate a labyrinth of policies from federal, state, and postsecondary institutions to earn a college degree. Policymakers can help ensure that undocumented young people and the economy prosper by removing these barriers.

Campus protest

State Disinvestment in Higher Education Has Led to an Explosion of Student-Loan Debt

article icon Issue Brief To address states’ devastating budget cuts to public colleges ushered in by the Great Recession, the Center for American Progress proposes a new funding mechanism to improve college affordability and decrease student reliance on federal loans.

For-profit college student

Examining Gainful Employment in Career Education

The effectiveness and approach of for-profit colleges has been questioned, resulting in efforts to define the legal requirement that the programs lead to gainful employment.

The Impact of the Great Recession on Public Colleges

cursor icon Interactive Direct state investment in and enrollment at public universities and community colleges for each state is presented to support the need for a restored state-federal partnership in postsecondary education.

UCLA

A Great Recession, a Great Retreat

book_alt2 icon Report Since the onset of the Great Recession, direct state investment in public universities and community colleges has declined. This report analyzes the retreat in funding in the 50 states and calls for a restored state-federal compact in postsecondary education to ensure that high-quality programs remain affordable and a central tenant of the American Dream.

A woman leaves her house

Effects of State Higher Education Cuts on Communities of Color

article icon Issue Brief As diversity among U.S. students increases, investment in public colleges—particularly in two-year institutions that disproportionately serve students of color—is an investment in the future.

umbrellas

The Middle-Class Squeeze

book_alt2 icon Report America's middle class is being squeezed by stagnant—and in many cases declining—incomes and rising costs. To address the middle-class squeeze, we need to enact policies that will both increase incomes and also address rising child care, higher education, health care, housing, and retirement costs.

Family cooking

The Top 3 Things You Need to Know About the 2013 Poverty and Income Data

bars icon Charts New poverty and income data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census underscore that it is time to enact policies to create jobs, raise wages, and invest in family economic security.

Student studying

How Public Universities Can Promote Access and Success for All Students

article icon Issue Brief Several colleges and universities have greater success than others graduating students of color and low-income students, as well as closing gaps across demographics, which offers a promising model for other higher-education institutions.

Campus tour

Important Insights on College Choice and the Burden of Student-Loan Debt

article icon Issue Brief Presenting standardized information about student-loan debt to students before they enroll may help them make college choices that minimize debt.

Student job fair

Competency-Based Education: Adding Value in the Liberal Arts

Due to concerns regarding the value of a liberal arts degree, new methods of assessing student progress are being used. Competency-based education measures market-driven student skills as the primary evaluation tool and is an innovative force in higher education.

Graduates pose for photographs

Harnessing the Tax Code to Promote College Affordability

article icon Issue Brief Progressive reforms to the tax code can help support college access and affordability, and benefit student-loan borrowers.

Student loans

Perils in the Provision of Trust Goods

book_alt2 icon Report A greater tendency toward predatory behavior is the logical and predictable result of a college’s decision to adopt an investor-owner model. Market-based reforms have the potential to help steer for-profit institutions toward better outcomes for students and taxpayers.

UWash

Lessons Learned

article icon Issue Brief Higher-education institutions, particularly those that disproportionately serve students of color, play a critical role in educating low-income students and reducing economic inequality.

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