Powered by Publics

Powered by Publics


Public university leaders have spent years creating and testing solutions to help students succeed in college, complete their degrees, and be well-prepared for the workforce. These efforts have achieved significant success at individual institutions but have not been fully brought to scale across the public higher education sector.

That’s why nearly 125 institutions have joined together to increase college access, student success, and postsecondary attainment. The initiative, called Powered by Publics (PxP), represents the largest-ever collaborative effort to improve college access, advance equity, and increase college degrees awarded.

Strategic Priorities

  • Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color (Hispanic/Latinx, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Asian, and two or more races), and other populations for which the university aims to improve equity.
  • Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
  • Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of AffordabilityTeaching & Learning, and Holistic Student Supports.
  • APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.
Powered by Publics Project Goals
Courtesy of the University of Houston

Our Work

Courtesy of George Mason University


Powered by Publics institutions are working to lower college costs for students, shorten time to graduation, help students reduce their debt, and ensure graduates are prepared with the hard and soft skills needed to succeed in the workforce.  These efforts are targeted toward low-income, minoritized, and first-generation students to ensure equitable access to higher education and contribute toward more equitable student outcomes. Although quantitative data sources are limited, qualitative and survey data inform the clusters’ activities.

Courtesy of Temple University

Teaching & Learning

Powered by Publics institutions are working to develop and scale innovative programs, practices, and policies that improve teaching practices and the learning environment for students. Doing so will help students succeed in the classroom and stay on track to graduation. As the demographics of today’s students are diversifying more rapidly than the ranks of faculty, Powered by Publics institutions seek to foster inclusive learning environments in which all students belong. Data sources include both institution-level and course-level data. 

Courtesy of the University of Texas El Paso

Holistic Student Supports

Holistic, wrap-around services designed to meet the diversity of students’ non-academic needs are essential for advancing degree completion and equity goals among Powered by Publics institutions. These institutions are working to test and scale interventions that meet students’ needs beyond the classroom. These supports are often targeted toward those who need them most – students who are low-income, minoritized, or first-generation – and are backed by literature or evidence gathered by the institutions during the course of their work together.

Courtesy of the University of Kansas

Reports & Publications

Drawing on the experience of participating universities, Powered by Publics publishes a variety of research in the areas of Affordability, Equity, Teaching and Learning, and Holistic Student Supports, and Data.

Powered by Publics Commitment to Equity

Race and socioeconomic status remain the most reliable predictors of college completion in the United States, and achievement gaps persist among low-income, minoritized, and first-generation students. APLU’s Powered by Publics is dedicated to supporting institutions of higher education to identify and remove systemic and structural barriers to student success for individuals who have been historically underserved and underrepresented within higher education. Read the full Powered by Publics Commitment to Equity.

Powered by Publics Events

APLU’s Powered by Publics initiative regularly brings the public university community and others together to share key lessons from the initiative in its participating students in the areas of Affordability, Teaching & Learning, and Holistic Student Supports. View past Powered by Publics events and videos.

Powered by Publics Data Literacy Institute

Robust data infrastructure and a culture of evidence is at the heart of improving student success and advancing equity. That’s why APLU’s Powered by Publics (PxP) Data Literacy Institute supports a network of Powered by Publics institutions to bring together cross-departmental teams for the purpose of enhancing the use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. Learn more

PxP Staff 

The Powered by Publics staff provides the clusters with technical expertise, facilitates meetings to help build institutional capacity, publishes original research, and more.

PxP Advisory Council

The Powered by Publics advisory council is comprised of the lead presidents and chancellors from each cluster who provide high-level leadership and strategic guidance for the initiative. In addition, PxP consults a diverse array of higher education leaders in the field who advise the initiative based on their expertise.

About Us

Working within “transformation clusters,” participating universities are tackling different student success challenges to implement innovative and effective practices in the thematic areas of Affordability, Teaching and Learning, and Holistic Student Supports to advance student success on their campuses.

Participating Schools

The Powered by Publics staff provides the clusters with technical expertise, facilitates meetings to help build institutional capacity, publishes original research, and more.

PXP Library

Find out what we’re learning and view original Powered by Publics research.