Closing the Evidence Gap

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New America


At a time when too few students are graduating from college and reaping the financial benefits that a higher education bestows, despite increasing numbers of those students taking on debt to enroll in college, it is absolutely essential that lawmakers engage in evidence-based policymaking. Members of Congress must support greater data transparency, research, and evaluation so that they can finally start to close the gap between what we know works and what does not to improve students’ chances of success, and so we know which students need help, in which ways. A concerted national effort to improve college is needed. It will require political will, a rethinking of the federal government’s higher education programs so they are centered on finding and expanding the strategies that work for students rather than treating evidence as an afterthought. This report seeks to explain the impetus for change, as well as identify solutions for policymakers in the Department of Education and on Capitol Hill.



low-income students, evidence-based policymaking, student debt, academic achievement, Federal aid to higher education--Law and legislation