The National Center defines higher education to include all education and training beyond high school, including two- and four-year, public and private, for-profit and nonprofit institutions.
As an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education promotes public policies that enhance Americans' opportunities to pursue and achieve a quality higher education. Established in 1998, the National Center serves as both a resource and catalyst:

A Resource for Policy Development
The National Center prepares timely, independent analyses of pressing policy issues facing the states and the nation regarding opportunity and achievement in higher education.

A Catalyst for Improving Public Policy
The National Center communicates performance results and key findings to the public, to civic, business, and higher education leaders, and to public officials who are poised to improve public policy regarding higher education.

In fulfilling these twin roles, the National Center:

  • engages a broad public discourse about higher education,
  • identifies performance gaps and stimulates action to improve results across the 50 states, and
  • strengthens public policy leadership to improve higher education.
The National Center assists states as they assess their own performance needs in higher education and as they build policy leadership around these critical areas.