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

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

The Student Transfer Problem and How States Can Help Solve It

Solving the transfer problem might be as simple as aligning state policy and institutional partnerships to create clearer pathways.

Why Students Need Key Information

Students need reliable information, including labor market outcomes, to make the best decisions about their educational future.

If States Help Colleges Improve Everybody Wins

Many of the lowest performing colleges lack the organizational capacity to create or improve the support systems necessary to increase stude

The Next Generation University

As the nation struggles to find new ways to increase college access and completion rates while lowering costs, a handful of "Next Generation