Cost of College

April 17, 2024
This report finds that cost is a major perceived barrier to obtaining a postsecondary credential. However, despite concerns about cost, few understand the actual price of higher education—specifically, the price of obtaining a bachelor's degree.

Community Colleges Creating Economic Mobility

March 29, 2024
This brief is a case study of successful efforts by manufacturing certificate programs at two community colleges that have resulted in economic mobility for graduates, especially for people of color. The programs included in this case study had racially diverse student enrollment, high rates of program completion, and favorable labor market outcomes. The findings of…

Lumina Fact Sheet

March 4, 2024
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. We envision a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Our goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and success…

The Broken Pathway

Dec. 20, 2023
Leaders across higher education and the workforce have been talking about improving pathways to opportunities for some time now. But a collective frustration with progress is leading a new urgency to these efforts. Despite research that shows that earning a degree is almost always worthwhile, individuals are questioning more than ever whether higher education is…

Ending Unfunded Mandates in Higher Education

Dec. 14, 2023
The United States will be unable to meet its higher education goals without changing the way it funds public colleges and universities, says a new report from Complete College America. Current funding models do not sufficiently advance fully scaled improvements, the report states. Instead, today’s models create unfunded mandates: Colleges are required to increase completion…

The Future of Fair Admissions

Dec. 13, 2023
Legacy preferences operate in the shadows of college admissions, according to this report from Education Reform Now. They serve the students who need the least help in gaining access to a high-quality education and exclude the students most likely to benefit from attending a highly selective institution. Colleges that continue to maintain legacy admissions are…

Nontuition Expenses: A Framework for Developing Policy Solutions

Dec. 8, 2023
Discussions about college affordability often revolve around helping students pay their tuition and fees. But nontuition expenses, including food, housing, and other living expenses, make up a large portion of student budgets and contribute to increased student debt. These expenses can be a barrier to student enrollment and completion. Lack of information about the true…

Variation in Community College Funding Levels: A Focus on Equity

Dec. 4, 2023
In many states, there is wide variation in funding levels among community colleges. Several factors account for these differences, including state funding allocation formulas, unequal local funding from property tax revenues, and political forces. To ensure equal opportunity among students from different racial and ethnic groups, community colleges need equitable funding. If community colleges enrolling…

Food Insecurity and Higher Education

Nov. 20, 2023
Food insecurity continues to be a barrier to postsecondary access and student success. Underrepresented, first-generation, non-traditional, and low-income students have food-insecurity rates ranging from 33–51% compared to 10% among U.S. adults. The factors contributing to food insecurity at institutions of higher education are complex, such as the increased cost of higher education, the limited usage…