Resources / One-Pagers

One-Pagers

Our one-pagers provide top-line summaries of our evidence-based, data-driven research and timely, nonpartisan recommendations.

Use this resource to identify opportunities for federal policymakers, including members of Congress and Department of Education officials, to advance evidence-based, equity-driven higher education policy reform.

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Use this tool to apply an equity lens when identifying community partners to include in the Stakeholder Engagement Process. Completing the template will help you assess the stakeholders in your community and the solutions they offer to the challenges your community seeks to address.

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Use this tool to plan and evaluate campus technologies based on the degree they support of student success outcomes.

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Meaning “opposite the editorial page,” an op-ed expresses the opinions of an author not associated with the publishing news outlet. Our Op-Ed Storytelling Tool supports you in effectively deploying an opinion piece to elevate a community’s shared voice, bring awareness to an issue and identify recommendations for policymakers.

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Use this tool to protect individual privacy when sharing postsecondary student data.

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Use this tool to promote equity-driven priorities to policymakers.

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Use this tool to inform conversations around the importance of higher education to students and institutions and serving incarcerated students.

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Higher Education in Prison (HEP) holds enormous potential to improve students’ lives, promote increased postsecondary attainment and workforce participation, disrupt cycles of incarceration, and strengthen communities. See below resources specific to different stakeholders.


Designed for federal policymakers, this one-pager outlines how federal policy can support the positive impact of higher education in prison.

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Designed for state policymakers, this one-pager outlines how state policy can support the positive impact of higher education in prison. (State Level Edition)

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Designed for those involved in Departments of Corrections, this one-pager outlines how corrections officials can support the positive impact of higher education in prison. (Corrections Edition)

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Designed for practitioners, this one-pager outlines how practitioners can measure the impact of their program on students, institutions, facilities, and their communities. (Practitioners Edition)

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Earning a college credential can mean a better living and a better life for students and their families. But to earn that credential, students must first navigate the admissions process. Education is indeed a door, but recruitment, admissions, and enrollment policies and practices dictate how wide that door is open. Creating a more equitable and just higher education system starts with implementing equitable admissions practices. The below accompanying tools can be used by higher education practitioners, leaders, and policymakers.


Colleges and universities wield enormous power in deciding who reaps the benefits of a college degree, and anti-racist and anti-classist recruitment policies have the potential to build a more equitable and just society. At present, however, college admissions are riddled with practices that perpetuate and deepen racial and socioeconomic disparities.

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Demonstrated interest policies, which favor applicants who express interest in enrolling at a given college, exacerbate inequities in college access for low-income, first-generation, and rural students. By choosing to consider demonstrated interest in admissions decisions, institutions enable privileged students to ‘work the system’ to their advantage.

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Many colleges and universities offer applicants multiple application deadlines. Through early admissions policies, institutions have created a tiered approach to their application deadlines that turns a positive unwritten rule—being an early bird—into a policy that advantages applicants with the most resources. Binding early decision deadlines, which require students to commit to attend an institution if admitted, offer advantages to students who are most likely to attend and benefit from college in the first place.

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Legacy admissions policies are designed to give preference to applicants based on their familial relationship to alumni, typically benefitting White and wealthy students whose families have had the privilege to attend college for centuries. By definition, these policies perpetuate the racism of decades past when our higher education system was closed to Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.

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Although proponents of the SAT and ACT argue that these tests help identify high-achieving students from underserved backgrounds, they actually serve as a gatekeeper to the opportunities higher education offers. Further, this notion of finding a “diamond in the rough,” which is itself a problematic idea, runs counter to the notion that all students can be successful. On their face, test scores appear to be a neutral judge, but in practice, they perpetuate racial and socioeconomic disparities.

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Higher education admissions applications should collect and consider information relevant for determining whether a potential student can succeed at their institution. Criminal justice information (CJI) does not meet this threshold. In fact, collecting and considering CJI in college admissions perpetuates inequities within higher education.

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Beginning the postsecondary journey at a community college often is touted as a viable and more affordable route to a bachelor’s degree. For some students, the high costs of attending a four-year institution may feel insurmountable. Others find that family obligations and work responsibilities make the flexibility and ability to stay close to home appealing. Additionally, the opportunity to demonstrate academic ability in a college setting can help students gain confidence, while increasing their odds of admission to more selective four-year institutions down the road. Unfortunately, the research on transfer pathways suggests that all too often, institutional barriers halt student progress. Too few selective four-year institutions have transfer policies that meet the needs of aspiring community college transfer students,4 including many Black, Latinx, Indigenous, underrepresented Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students and students from low-income backgrounds.

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Need-based financial aid is a critical support for students from low-income and low-wealth backgrounds, many of whom are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, or underrepresented Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI). Yet many public institutions provide large grants to students who can already afford college. In fact, between 2001 and 2017, 339 public four-year universities awarded at least $32 billion (roughly 40 percent) of their total institutional aid to students without financial need.

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