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Resources by Audience: Lumina Issue Papers


Beyond Financial Aid

How colleges can strengthen the financial stability of low-income students and improve student outcomes

May 16, 2018

BFA is a compendium of best practices for assisting low-income students. It highlights good work that has been underway for years but hasn’t always been implemented at scale, especially within institutions that enroll significant numbers of low-income students.

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Statewide Educational Attainment Goals

A Story of Two States

March 6, 2018

This brief tells the story of two states, Arizona and New Hampshire, and their efforts to set ambitious goals for increasing educational attainment among their residents. Based primarily on interviews with key state leaders, these stories highlight the unique path each state took to prioritize its goals for postsecondary attainment and are designed to inspire ideas for leaders in other states.

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Equity Policy Academy

Prioritizing Equity

March 6, 2018

This brief tells the story of Lumina Foundation’s and states’ efforts to promote an equity agenda for higher education, featuring the 2015 Equity Policy Academy— which focused on improving educational equity for students from historically underserved groups—as a turning point. Based primarily on interviews with Lumina staff and key state leaders from the five states that participated in the Academy—Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Vermont, and Virginia—this story is designed to highlight the unique path each state took to prioritize equity in postsecondary attainment, and inspire ideas for leaders in other states.

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Outcomes-Based Funding Strategies for Postsecondary Education

An Inspiring Story

March 6, 2018

This brief tells the story of Indiana’s efforts to develop and implement outcomes-based funding (OBF) for public postsecondary education. Indiana’s story is supplemented by a briefer description of efforts in Tennessee. Based primarily on interviews with key state leaders, this story is designed to highlight the unique path each state took to implement funding policies that can help increase educational attainment beyond high school, improve equity in student outcomes, and inspire ideas for leaders in other states.

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How Competency-Based Education May Help Reduce Our Nation’s Toughest Inequities

November 8, 2017

This paper considers how CBE can be used to educate, equip, and empower learners who struggle in postsecondary learning programs because of who they are and where they live. Recommended starting points — places and programs — are provided throughout the paper to highlight where and how CBE providers can prioritize equity.

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A Benchmark for Making College Affordable

The Rule of 10

October 31, 2017

College affordability. Two simple words; two critically important, yet distressingly hollow words. Policymakers, college administrators, and student advocates all use this term, but no one seems to precisely define what it means or what achieving it would look like. Without a clear definition, it’s hard to measure progress toward this goal.

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Lumina State Policy Agenda


April 3, 2017

Lumina’s state policy agenda recommends ways in which states can identify, attract, and spend resources so that many more Americans can afford to earn postsecondary credentials with workplace value.

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Competency as a Currency

An Update on the Right Signals Initiative

March 23, 2017

The Right Signals (TRS) Initiative demonstrates a new credentialing model that recognizes multiple quality credentials to send “the right signals” to employers, students, and colleges about the meaning of these credentials. This report provides an early set of findings from the 20 colleges using a new tool called the beta Credential Framework.

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Report on Phase I Study

Embedding Industry and Professional Certifications within Higher Education

February 21, 2017

Lumina Foundation and the national Connecting Credentials Initiative conducted a study in spring 2016 to learn more about the practice, policies, and impacts of embedding industry and professional certifications in college and university programs.

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Outcomes-Based Funding and Responsibility Center Management

Combining the Best of State and Institutional Budget Models to Achieve Shared Goals

July 13, 2016

State governments serve as a key-funding source for public higher education. Outcomes-based funding is an alternative to other methods of state allocations to institutions, such as base-plus funding, enrollment-based funding, and early performance-centered funding. Outcomes-based funding allows states to convey and promote alignment with goals and objectives for higher education by allocating state tax dollars to institutions based on measures of outcomes.

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