- Donald Heller
Pennsylvania State University
DONALD E. HELLER is Professor of Education and Senior Scientist, and Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at The Pennsylvania State University. He teaches and conducts research on higher education economics, public policy, and finance, with a primary focus on issues of college access and choice for low-income and minority students. He has consulted on higher education policy issues with university systems and policymaking organizations in California, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Washington, Washington, DC, and West Virginia, and he has testified in front of Congressional committees, state legislatures, and in federal court cases as an expert witness. Dr. Heller earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and holds an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Tufts University. Before his academic career, he spent a decade as an information technology manager at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Heller's research has been published in scholarly journals including The Journal of Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, Educational Policy, and The Journal of Student Financial Aid, and he has been quoted in and his work has been reported on by media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Times of London Higher Education Supplement, National Public Radio, CNN Headline News, and Marketplace Radio. He is the editor of the books State Postsecondary Education Research: New Methods to Inform Policy and Practice (with K. Shaw, Stylus Publishing, 2007), The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), and Condition of Access: Higher Education for Lower Income Students (ACE/Praeger, 2002).
Dr. Heller received the 2002 Promising Scholar/Early Career Achievement Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education, a scholarly society with over 1,500 members dedicated to higher education as a field of study. He was also the recipient in 2001 of the Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, for his contributions to the literature on student financial aid.