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Memos to Congress and the Administration on Higher Education

The federal role in higher education has grown over the past two decades, and now, a new administration has the opportunity to strengthen policies that support students and their colleges and universities. To help inform these decisions, we offer a series of memos written by a bipartisan group of scholars and policy analysts and rooted in an understanding of the importance and limits of the federal role in higher education.

These memos are based on four principles: (1) the federal government should subsidize higher education, especially for students with limited opportunities; (2) the federal government should collect and disseminate information that can improve market function; (3) the federal government must set basic eligibility standards for students and institutions; and (4) the federal government should support research conducted on college and university campuses.

Our experts draw upon these principles and an abundance of evidence to offer policy recommendations in 10 critical areas of higher education:

We believe these principles and policy recommendations can help guide Congress and the administration in developing a stable and effective federal role that will serve the nation’s students for decades to come.

A Principled Federal Role in Higher Education

This brief outlines the principles that underlie the policy recommendations offered in the memos and provides a framework for considering the federal role in higher education.