Higher education must change to reflect shifting student demographics

America's outdated models of higher education are failing today's diverse student populations. Lumina President Jamie P. Merisotis calls for a higher education redesign to meet changing college demographics. Read his op-ed in The Hill's forum for lawmakers and policy professionals.

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Looking Back to Move Forward: 

A History of Federal Financial Aid

Check out our film series on the history of financial aid in America. How did we become so reliant on student loans as the primary means of paying for college? In this four-part documentary series, we investigate the history of financial aid to direct a reform agenda that brings equity to college access.

Watch Parts 1 & 2

What Needs to be Redesigned?

A redesigned postsecondary system must be flexible, affordable and relentlessly focused on quality. Put simply, it must be a student-centered system, one designed to meet the needs of students—all types of students—not just the needs or traditions of institutions. The ultimate goal is to build a learning-based system that offers broad, connected pathways to high-quality credentials for a vast and growing number of Americans—from all walks of life.

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What Needs to be Redesigned

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E3: Education, Equity and Excellence

While the face of America is changing, economic and social inequities among racial and ethnic groups persist. Historical and current patterns of discrimination, segregation and racism continue to foster disparities that make it increasingly difficult to achieve “the American dream.” Native American, African American and Latino students are disproportionately poor, have less access to quality education, and are underrepresented in positions of power. Without intentional and focused efforts to address inequality in our society, the gaps will only continue to grow.

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Education, Equity and Excellence

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Facts & Figures

Three of four Americans believe a postsecondary credential is important to attaining a better quality of life, while fully 90 percent believe it’s important for the nation to increase college attainment rates. Visit Facts & Figures to get a fuller picture of what America needs to know about higher education redesign.

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Facts & Figures

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We know that higher education attainment results in greater individual earning power. In fact, a worker with a bachelor's degree earns 84 percent more than a worker without a degree - an average value of $2.8 million over the course of a lifetime. And the value of individual attainment is also key to our national economic prosperity because research shows that more than two-thirds of all U.S. jobs will require a postsecondary degree or credential by 2018.

By providing greater postsecondary access and success for all Americans, we build stronger economies, thriving communities, and a greater quality of life. It's clear that higher education remains the best avenue to prosperity, opportunity and a stronger nation.

 

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LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES

Higher education must change to reflect shifting student demographics

America's outdated models of higher education are failing today's diverse student population. Lumina President Jamie P. Merisotis calls for policymakers, educators, employers and other stakeholders to redesign education to meet the needs of changing college demographics. Read the op-ed in The Hill's Forum for Lawmakers and Policy Professionals.

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GRANTEE & PARTNER NEWS

Lumina explores new business models

Lumina collaborates with seven completion colleges to help our nation reach its goal of leading the world in college attainment. Commitments from colleges and universities, business leaders, and nonprofits announced at White House summit on December 4. #CollegeOpportunity  

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LUMINA NEWS

Looking Back to Move Forward: A History of Federal Student Aid

This documentary series provides insight into the programs’ origins, milestones, and current issues as we ponder future direction and navigate foreseeable roadblocks to new policy innovation. Learn from a few experts about the history of financial aid in American higher education. Let’s look back to move forward.

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More About Lumina Foundation

Our Mission and How to Get Involved

What You Can Do

Every American has a role in helping us reach Goal 2025, and we all benefit when we get there. Everyone–from employers to instructors to families–has clear steps to take. And no matter how small, each step toward the goal is essential. Find out how you can contribute to building a stronger nation through higher education.

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What Needs to be Redesigned

Lumina's priority is to fundamentally rethink how higher education is delivered, and what outcomes can be expected from postsecondary completion. Lumina Foundation is leading a national conversation about the disruptive innovations helping to design and build a 21st century system that meets the needs of all students.

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Facts & Figures

Read some key facts on how we can increase levels of educational attainment equitably, through the use of quality data to improve student performance, identify problems, measure progress toward the goal and inform policy and decision making at all levels.

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