Higher Education Policy & Practice

Fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students – particularly those of color or living in poverty.

Equity-Driven Data-Centered Student-Focused

More than almost any other factor, postsecondary education is associated with larger earning potential, and adults with bachelor’s degrees are only about half as likely to be unemployed. A postsecondary degree is the ticket to achieving social and economic mobility, yet too few students are able to enroll in, afford, and complete college.

To address these realities, our higher education work is equity-centered and focuses on closing gaps in access and success and on making college more affordable for students, particularly those from low-income families and families of color.

Data is at the heart of what we do. We monitor constantly, identify problems, and identify institutions with problems. Essentially, we use data to inform all of our work


We advocate on behalf of low-income students and students of color to ensure they have equitable access to high-quality postsecondary opportunities.

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Affordability and Financial Aid

We work to improve federal, state, and institutional financial aid policies to better serve students with the most financial need.

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Completion and Success

We focus on improving student success, particularly for low-income students and students of color.

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DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision is irresponsible and immoral, putting the futures of 800,000 children and young adults at risk—many of them students.

Since the DACA announcement, advocates from across the country, including Ed Trust, have been calling on Congress to show strong moral leadership and pass a clean Dream Act, which already has bipartisan support, to put Dreamers on a path to citizenship.

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Highlighting Successful Models

We identify and learn from high-performing institutions that produce positive outcomes for all students.

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Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

The original Higher Education Act (HEA) was adopted in 1965 to expand opportunity, so that no student would be denied a chance to participate in higher education due to financial limitations or socioeconomic status. Since then, the U.S. has made substantial progress in expanding college access. College-going rates are rising for students at all income levels and for every major racial and ethnic group.

As Congress works to reauthorize this important civil rights law, they must push all institutions to effectively serve students from low-income families and students of color.

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