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Laura W. Perna

GSE Centennial Presidential Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Areas of Expertise:

About Laura

Perna's research uses various methodological approaches to identify how social structures, educational practices, and public policies promote and limit college access and success, particularly for groups that are underserved by higher education. She has served as President of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Vice President of the Postsecondary Division of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and chair of Penn’s Faculty Senate. She was a member of the Gates Commission on the Value of Postsecondary Education and is on the Board of Directors for the Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI).


No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Opinion: "Federal Pell Grants Help Pay for College – But are they Enough to Help Students Finish?," Laura W. Perna (with Jeremy Wright-Kim), Southern Maryland Chronicle, February 2, 2020.
Quoted by William Zumeta in "Washington State’s Big Bet on ‘Free College’ ," The Conversation, July 18, 2019.
Quoted by Mary Beth Marklein in "Scholars Look for Ways to Restore Respect for Expertise," University World News, April 21, 2018.
Opinion: "Can College "Promise" Programs Deliver?," Laura W. Perna (with Edward J. Smith and Elaine W. Leigh), The Conversation, December 12, 2017.
Opinion: "Five Tax Changes that Will Hurt U.S. Higher Education," Laura W. Perna, Medium, December 6, 2017.
Guest on Knowledge@Wharton, December 6, 2017.
Opinion: "College Promise Programs: Designing Programs to Achieve the Promise ," Laura W. Perna (with Elaine Leigh), Higher Education Today, February 13, 2017.
Guest on Voice of America, November 29, 2016.
Guest on Knowledge@Wharton with Dan Loney, November 3, 2016.
Guest on Knowledge@Wharton with Dan Loney, September 8, 2016.
Opinion: "Improving Equity in Higher Education Attainment is Imperative," Laura W. Perna, The Hill, February 11, 2015.
Opinion: "Keeping the National Center for Education Statistics Independent," Laura W. Perna, The Hill, August 28, 2014.
Opinion: "Why State Leadership Matters for Improving Access to Higher Education," Laura W. Perna (with Joni Finney), Inside Sources, July 27, 2014.