Higher Education Policy & Practice

Fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students – particularly those of color or living in poverty.

Equity-Driven Data-Centered Student-Focused

More than almost any other factor, postsecondary education is associated with larger earning potential, and adults with bachelor’s degrees are only about half as likely to be unemployed. A postsecondary degree is the ticket to achieving social and economic mobility, yet too few students are able to enroll in, afford, and complete college.

To address these realities, our higher education work is equity-centered and focuses on closing gaps in access and success and on making college more affordable for students, particularly those from low-income families and families of color.

Data is at the heart of what we do. We monitor constantly, identify problems, and identify institutions with problems. Essentially, we use data to inform all of our work


We advocate on behalf of low-income students and students of color to ensure they have equitable access to high-quality postsecondary opportunities.

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Affordability and Financial Aid

We work to improve federal, state, and institutional financial aid policies to better serve students with the most financial need.

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Completion and Success

We focus on improving student success, particularly for low-income students and students of color.

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The State of Higher Education Equity: National & State Trends in Degree Attainment for Black & Latino Adults

The U.S. requires a well-educated workforce to grow our economy, strengthen our democracy, and solve big problems at home and abroad. And individuals with a college degree benefit from more job security, employment opportunities, and higher wages.

Black and Latino adults are less likely to hold a college degree today than White adults were in 1990 — roughly 25 years ago. Also, today Black adults are two-thirds as likely to hold a college degree as Whites, and Latinos are only half as likely.

To highlight where change is needed most, Ed Trust details national trends and state-by-state differences in degree attainment for Black adults in 41 states and degree attainment for Latino adults in 44 states.

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DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This decision is irresponsible and immoral, putting the futures of 800,000 children and young adults at risk—many of them students.

Since the DACA announcement, advocates from across the country, including Ed Trust, have been calling on Congress to show strong moral leadership and pass a clean Dream Act, which already has bipartisan support, to put Dreamers on a path to citizenship.

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Highlighting Successful Models

We identify and learn from high-performing institutions that produce positive outcomes for all students.

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