Federal Policy Priorities

To reach Goal 2025, the country needs a 21st century higher education system focused on student success and high-quality learning. Federal policy can and must help build that system — one that reflects the reality of 21st century students and fits postsecondary education’s rapidly changing environment. Students need postsecondary education that helps them meet their goals for the future, including a good job and a good life. They should not have to incur so much debt that they choose not to follow public-service career paths, such as teaching, or that they indefinitely postpone buying a house, opening a business or starting a family. Students and their employers should know what their degrees and other credentials mean in terms of the knowledge and skills students have attained — not just how many hours they sat in classrooms.

For the vision of a 21st century higher education system to become a reality, federal policy needs to look beyond access to encompass student success and work for all students in the 21st century, including working adults, low-income students, first-generation students and students of color. Lumina's statement of federal policy priorities is intended to prompt discussion about how higher education needs to change and what the federal government can do to help bring about those changes.

In short, these priorities are:

  • Priority 1: Support the creation and expansion of transparent pathways to high-quality degrees and other credentials
  • Priority 2: Ensure that postsecondary education is affordable to all who need it
  • Priority 3: Assure the quality of credentials and providers in terms of student learning.

Federal Policy Priorities