Iris Palmer

Senior Policy Analyst, Education Policy Program

Iris Palmer is a senior policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. She is a member of the higher education team, where she provides research and analysis on state policies related to higher education including performance based funding, state student financial aid, and state data systems.

Palmer previously worked at the National Governors Association on postsecondary issues. There she helped states strengthen the connection between higher education and the workforce, support competency based systems, use data from effectiveness and efficiency metrics and improve licensure for veterans. Prior to joining NGA, she worked at HCM Strategists on the Lumina Foundation’s initiative to develop innovative higher education models, including new technologies and competency-based approaches. Before joining HCM Strategists, Palmer worked at the U.S. Department of Education in all of the offices related to higher education: the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, the Office of Postsecondary Education, the Policy Office and the Office of the Undersecretary.

Palmer received her undergraduate degree in political science from Goucher College and her masters of public policy from George Mason.

All Work

Missing Part of Free-College Push

Iris Palmer was quoted in Inside Higher Ed about the correlation between funding and completion rates.

This Mathematician Brought Big Data To Advising. Then Deeper Questions Emerged.

Iris Palmer and Manuela Ekowo's report was cited by an EdSurge article on the use of big data in college advising.

Health Care vs. Higher Ed

Iris Palmer was cited on how the reduction of federal funding for Medicaid expansion puts pressure on public funding for higher ed.

What New York Gets Wrong About Free College

Asking students to repay their grants if life takes them out of state fails to live up to the promise of free.

New York Isn’t the Only Free College Proposal with a Catch

While some states’ plans are well-designed, others could be difficult to implement, or even risk creating more problems than they solve.

Tennessee Doubles Down on Free College

Few states are including adult students in their push for free college, but leaving out such an important group is a mistake.

Federal Work Study Can be Great Again

A well-designed work-study program will help students gain access to high quality work opportunities and help them pay for college.

Students Are About to Get ‘Starfished’

Manuela Ekowo and Iris Palmer's work on predictive analytics in higher education was cited in the Pasadena Community College Courier.

Work-Study Worries

Iris Palmer was quoted by Inside Higher Ed regarding the cuts to the federal work-study program under President Trump's budget proposal.

Attention College Students: Trump Is Coming After Your Work-Study Gigs

Iris Palmer was quoted by Time in an article on the cuts to the federal work-study program within President Trump's budget proposal.

The "Skinny Budget" Starves Some Higher Ed Programs

The Trump Administration calls for a 13 percent cut to funding for the U.S. Department of Education and targeting some popular programs.

When Using Data to Predict Outcomes, Consider the Ethical Dilemmas, New Report Urges

Manuela Ekowo and Iris Palmer were quoted by the Hechinger Report on the the new report, Predictive Analytics in Higher Education.