Strengthening Public Policy Leadership to Improve Higher Education

In its research and other activities, the National Center addresses important changes in federal higher education policy, while focusing primarily at the state level — since most of the public policies affecting higher education are made by states.

Assisting States in Assessing Results

The National Center is working with state policy leaders to better understand state performance in higher education. As part of this effort, the National Center — in collaboration with the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) — is developing a prototype that will help states to tailor the performance criteria in the National CenterŐs state-by-state national report card to the state's unique data collection system and higher education needs. This will enable states to better identify and improve performance in areas that cannot be captured by national data.

Public Policy

As state leaders seek to improve opportunities for education and training beyond high school, the National Center encourages them to consider higher education from the perspective of state residents. What do individuals, communities, and the state as a whole need from colleges, universities, and training centers? How will public needs change in 10 to 20 years? From this perspective, the National Center works with states to develop public policies that can help improve opportunity.


The National Center monitors state trends in higher education finance, providing budget projections to state analysts and highlighting important changes for state leaders. These projections assist policy leaders in making decisions about current revenues and planning for the future. The National Center also sponsors seminars and other meetings on the financing of higher education.