Commentary and analysis on today’s most pressing concerns and innovative practices in higher education policy and research. Staffed by ACE’s Center for Policy Research & Strategy and Government Relations, along with guest posts from ACE members and other scholars working in the field to define and assess the critical challenges facing colleges and universities. Together, these posts provide college leaders and public policymakers with the latest on issues such as access, financial aid, data, Congress and the administration, re-imagining diversity and equity on campus, and public higher education finance.

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Policy Levers Leading the Way to Reentry for Incarcerated Students

We know that postsecondary education changes lives and provides a stepping-stone to prosperity. Though we recognize education’s transformative power, those who stand to benefit the most are often cut off from access—especially individuals in the criminal justice system.

Minority Serving Institutions Perform Better Than Federal Graduation Rates Suggest

A new report out from ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy aims to provide a more complete picture of the contributions MSIs make to the higher education landscape and the communities in which they reside. The upshot: Ensuring the success of students of color requires further investment in the very institutions that educate them.

Geography and College Attainment: A Place-Based Approach

Place is an influential determinant of college opportunity and success. But geography should not be destiny. States and higher education institutions should adopt policies and practices that recognize place-based disadvantage, according to Roman Ruiz and Laura W. Perna of the University of Pennsylvania.

Building Family-Friendly Campuses: Strategies to Promote College Success Among Student Parents

While the share of parents enrolled in college has been steadily growing—according to the most recent data, the proportion of students with dependent children has increased 30 percent from 2004-12—the share of parenting students who complete college remains low. Melanie Kruvelis of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research looks at steps institutions can take to better understand and support students with families.

Beyond Graduation Rates: Why the Data Matter—and Why They Don’t

Carol Anderson and Patricia O’Brien of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education in New England discuss the Graduation Rate Information Project, an initiative to address low graduation rates at the institutions their organization accredits.

Food Is a Basic Need: Dealing With Hunger on College Campuses

Wick Sloane writes that more data is needed on the issue of campus hunger before a comprehensive solution can be advanced—and on that score, an upcoming study from Government Accountability Office is a welcome development. This is the second post in a new series, Beyond the Margins: Meeting the Needs of Underserved Students.

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