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

Degrees Denied: Adults Left out of State Financial Aid Programs

Policymakers should consider how to make state financial aid more accessible to students regardless of age.

Bernie Sanders’ Weird Plan to Control College Costs

Bernie Sanders' free college plan does try to control college costs

New Research on How States can Control Tuition Growth

New research finds that decentralized tuition setting authority and fixed caps on its rate of growth are associated with higher tuition.

Candy Crush Community College

New models of community college are offering more flexibility, but is this model addressing the major challenges?

How Could Your Grocery Bill Affect the Price of College?

In an effort to rein in runaway tuition, some states are experimenting with ways to tie the price of college to median wages and inflation.

The Unicorn of State Reinvestment Appears in Washington

Washington passed a budget that actually cuts tuition at four-year colleges between 15 and 20 percent over the next two years.

The Growing Movement to Hold Colleges Accountable for Graduates Getting Jobs

There is a growing interest among state policymakers for holding public colleges accountable for the earnings and employment of their gradua

Private Colleges Target Community College Grads

"We have a long way to go," says Iris Palmer, a senior policy analyst at the think tank the New America Foundation. "Of course, we always wi

Private colleges target community college grads they once shunned

We have a long way to go,” said Iris Palmer, a senior policy analyst at the think tank the New America Foundation. “Of course, we always wis

Scared of student loan debt? Check out state loan programs.

State loan programs deserve more attention and study as part of the larger student loan debate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants free tuition at four-year public colleges. Here’s why it won’t work.

But so much of what Sanders is calling for would take a level of enforcement and compliance that would be difficult to achieve, said Iris Pa

Why the news on high college costs is starting to get (a little) better

For anyone who’s below wealthy, it’s a real struggle, because these numbers are huge, and obviously these debt loads are causing a lot of an