Our Work

Our Work

APLU works with members to confront and overcome the extraordinary challenges facing public research universities. We are working collectively to broaden access to higher education, garner renewed investment in research, and tackle societal challenges while spurring economic growth. Public universities are working to address urgent student needs, advance equity and degree completion, and address their communities’ most urgent work. 

Driving Equitable Student Success

A core mission of public universities is to provide students from all different backgrounds access to a high-quality, affordable education, help those students obtain a degree, and ultimately work to ensure graduates are prepared for a lifetime of learning.

Fostering Research & Innovation

APLU promotes robust federal research funding as well as policies and university practices designed to support research, one of the core missions of our public universities. University research improves lives and has a significant impact on economic development and growth. 

Deepening Community & Economic Engagement

APLU and its member institutions are deeply engaged in their communities and regions. Through partnerships with community organizations, state and local governments, entrepreneurs, small businesses, major corporations, and others, they advance economic development, tackle societal challenges, and foster great places to work and live.

Federal Policy & Advocacy

APLU works closely with members, fellow higher education groups, the business community, scientific organizations, and others on a range of issues and causes.  A core focus of our effort involves drawing on the collective strength of our member institutions to effectively advocate for federal policies and funding levels that support and enhance the work of public research universities.

Highlighted Projects & Initiatives

PxP brings together 125 institutions to increase college access, student success, and graduation. The initiative is the largest-ever collaborative effort to improve outcomes through innovations in affordability, teaching and learning, and holistic student supports.
APLU and the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Wisconsin are leading a NSF-funded collaborative effort to diversify STEM faculty and ensure all STEM faculty use inclusive teaching practices.
The IEP designation program helps universities better know, measure, tell, and enhance their economic and community development impact while recognizing institutions with a commitment to and strategy for regional economic engagement, growth, and economic opportunity. 
Public research universities are deploying a diverse array of strategies to build 21st Century skills for learners through new models for higher education and life-long learning.
The Frontier Set is investment aimed at better understanding how institutions transform to meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s learners. The Frontier Set membership includes 29 colleges and universities and two-state systems, and intermediaries
The Pell Grant is the nation’s foundational investment in higher education, serving
seven million students annually. Doubling the maximum Pell Grant will help more students earn a degree, get a good-paying job, and increase economic mobility.
APLU developed a guide and toolkit on Public Impact Research to help universities focus and plan research directly impact the public and communicate about this critically important work publicly.
APLU’s Public University Values (#PublicUValues) campaign illuminates key facts about the value of public universities and clarify common misconceptions on college costs; student debt; lifetime earnings; societal benefits; and research and community engagement.

Supporting Our Work

APLU thanks the 20 NGOs and government agencies who supported our work in the last year. In 2021, APLU’s projects and initiatives had a combined contribution of more than $38 million over the life of the grants.