Jamie Merisotis

President and CEO

Jamie Merisotis, an internationally recognized leader in higher education, human work, philanthropy, and public policy, has been Lumina Foundation’s president and CEO since 2008.

More about Jamie
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Even if your collar’s blue, a college degree can mean more green

Jamie Merisotis  | 
When we think of ways to make college more affordable and make degrees more valuable in the workplace, we don’t think about Chris Jones. I mention Jones, an Indiana electrician, but there are many like him: People with degrees in the humanities making a good living in fields far from the subjects
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Short-term credentials leading to pay increases fell, highlighting the need for programs to pay off.

Jamie Merisotis  | 
Thirty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, saw declines in the share of residents having industry certifications and college certificates with significant wage premiums. This unusual decline in short-term credentials, surfacing in Lumina Foundation’s update of A Stronger Nation toda
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Equity in higher education attainment—when good isn’t good enough

Jamie Merisotis  | 
New information about the immense value of college degrees will delight supporters of higher education. But what’s behind the numbers tells a tale of the unfinished business of college attainment.
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The news looks good for job-hunting grads this spring

Jamie Merisotis  | 
College students graduating this year have gotten mixed signals about the strength of the job market, but this much is clear: Just as for those final exams in the spring, preparation is everything when it comes to a solid career launch.
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The smart money is still on college, but hedge your bet by choosing wisely.

Jamie Merisotis  | 
The trouble with good advice is that it's often not good enough. That is the case with higher education. Yes, getting a college degree or other high-quality credential pays off very well—a college degree is worth $2.8 million in lifetime earnings, for example.
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AI systems need a conscience—and that’s us

Jamie Merisotis  | 
AI is today's version of the Prometheus story—or it could be without proper safeguards focused on individual rights and responsibilities.
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Beware these ‘truisms’ about higher education

Jamie Merisotis  | 
Despite the flame-throwing heat in today’s public discourse, it’s actually possible to find agreement—to weigh two conflicting ideas at once. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, that is the test of a first-rate intelligence.
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Higher education faces its biggest test yet—but is getting these answers right

Jamie Merisotis  | 
Higher education is getting at least three things right as colleges and universities pivot to confront some of the greatest challenges in the nation’s history.
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Hispanic students can shape our future—if we reshape college

Jamie Merisotis  | 
The road to higher educational attainment runs through every Hispanic household in America. With a population of 63.7 million, Hispanics are the country’s largest minority group, and today one in every five students in higher ed is Hispanic.
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We need a more agile higher ed system to meet the needs of today’s college students

Jamie Merisotis  | 
As we talk about the enormous value of education beyond high school to families and the nation, we need to be sure we’re listening, too—something we don’t always do so well.
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We need more local news for better education, government, and public health

Jamie Merisotis  | 
No one disputes the need for more—and better—news coverage that helps us make sense of an increasingly complex world. We need local angles on national news, better statehouse reporting, and more explainers and in-depth coverage of local communities.
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The value of college can’t be reduced to only dollars and cents

Jamie Merisotis  | 
These are odd days for American higher education. More and more Americans doubt the value of going beyond high school. From 2016 to 2022, the proportion of young Americans choosing to continue their education after graduating from high school dropped significantly—from 70 percent to 62 percent.
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On The Value Of College, Higher Ed Has A ‘Great Choir’ Of Supporters—But Many People Can’t Hear The Music

Jamie Merisotis  | 
There are many reasons why only half of American adults have an education credential beyond high school, and we’re starting to see one of the biggest: Communication. Too often, we simply talk past each other. Take these points, for example: A bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million, on average,
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Amid skepticism about higher ed, state lawmakers on both sides appear open to fresh ideas

Jamie Merisotis  | 
We’re always stronger together—and that includes the effort to fix our system of education and job training.
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The road to racial justice is also the path to prosperity and progress

Jamie Merisotis  | 
If you want progress, work for justice. That’s a paraphrase of Pope Paul VI from 1972 amid the Vietnam War. Then, the sentiment was about peace. More than 50 years later, we’re still talking about justice—but now in the context of economic mobility and the promise of American progress.
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With the end of race-conscious college admissions, Americans have reached common ground on what’s needed next

Jamie Merisotis  | 
What will American colleges and universities look like now that the Supreme Court has upended affirmative action? The evidence is clear: As we’ve seen from states that had already banned race-conscious admissions prior to the court’s recent decision, enrollment for students of color will decline
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Let’s stop arguing about immigration — And let it help us all

Jamie Merisotis  | 
With the 2024 presidential campaign about to kick into a higher gear after Labor Day, one thing we can be sure of is that immigration will once again be a major campaign theme.
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Jamie Merisotis on preparing the workforce for a green and new economy

Jamie Merisotis  | 
On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom Vander Ark is joined by repeat guest Jamie Merisotis, CEO of Lumina Foundation, a foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We spoke with Jamie in 2020 right after the publication of Human Work in
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There’s a reason for America’s shaken faith in education—but higher ed has an opportunity to turn that around

Jamie Merisotis  | 
A new survey confirms what most of us have seen in the last eight years or so: Confidence in higher education is at an all-time low. But there is at least a glimmer of light in the numbers and an opportunity for higher education to show how it is responding to this waning confidence.
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States scramble to fill the tech talent shortage

Jamie Merisotis  | 
As states across the country work to grow their percentage of learners with education beyond high school—48 states have set such goals—a parallel effort is underway.