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Jennifer Delaney

Key Professional Appointments

  • Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Director, Forum on the Future of Public Education, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • Affiliate, Center for Social and Behavioral Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

PhD, Higher Education, Stanford University, 2007

EdM, Higher Education, Harvard University, 2000

BA, English, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1999


Research & Service

Dr. Jennifer A. Delaney is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also the Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education at the University of Illinois. In addition, Dr. Delaney is a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Her scholarly research focuses on higher education policy, with an emphasis on finance. She has published extensively in the areas of student financial aid, state budgeting for higher education, and on related topics of higher education policy. She worked for the US Department of Education and the US Congress on issues of student financial aid with the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance from 2000-2002. From 2003-2005, she was a policy analyst with the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, where she contributed to the Measuring Up reports, state-by-state report cards on higher education performance. She also served as a consultant for the Commission on the Future of Higher Education (under US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings) in 2005-2006. Dr. Delaney served as chair of the Council for Public Policy in Higher Education from 2011-2014 with the Association for the Study of Higher Education. In 2014, she was the Faculty Fellow for the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Previously she was an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Delaney earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Stanford University, an Ed.M. in Higher Education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan.


Delaney, J. A., & Hemenway, B. (Accepted/In press). A Difference-in-Difference Analysis of Shifts in Postsecondary Institution Spending Patterns in Response to “Promise” Financial Aid Programs. Educational Policy.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Kearney, T. D. (2022). TV Networks for College Sports: Implications for Institutional Subsidies. Research in Higher Education, 63(7), 1158-1203.  link >

Odle, T. K., & Delaney, J. A. (2022). You are Admitted! Early Evidence on Enrollment from Idaho’s Direct Admissions System. Research in Higher Education, 63(6), 899-932.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Hemenway, B. (2020). A Difference-in-Difference Analysis of "Promise" Financial Aid Programs on Postsecondary Institutions. Journal of Education Finance, 45(4), 459-492.

Delaney, J. A., & Leigh, E. W. (2020). A Promising Trend?: An Event History Analysis of Factors Associated With Establishing Single-Institution College Promise Programs. In L. W. Perna, & E. J. Smith (Eds.), Improving Research-Based Knowledge of College Promise Programs (pp. 269-302). American Educational Research Association.  link >

Doyle, W. R., Dziesinski, A. B., & Delaney, J. A. (2020). Modeling Volatility in Public Funding for Higher Education: An Analysis Using Propensity Forests. Journal of Education Finance, 46(4), 563-591.

McMahon, W. W., & Delaney, J. A. (2020). The External Social Benefits of Higher Education: Introduction to This Special Issue. Journal of Education Finance, 46(4), 387-397.

Delaney, J. A., Bell, E., & Soler, M. C. (2019). Perceptions of income share agreements: Evidence from a public opinion survey. Journal of Education Finance, 45(1), 97-122.

Delaney, J. A., & Doyle, W. R. (2018). Patterns and volatility in state funding for higher education, 1951-2006. Teachers College Record, 120(6).

Delaney, J. A., & Dharmapala, D. (2017). "Pay it forward" and higher education subsidies: A median voter model. Contemporary Economic Policy, 35(4), 615-629.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Kearney, T. D. (2016). Alternative student-based revenue streams for higher education institutions: A difference-in-difference analysis using guaranteed tuition policies. Journal of Higher Education, 87(5), 731-769.  link >

Delaney, J. A., Kearney, T. D., & Hemenway, B. (2016). Balancing Tuition Predictability and Affordability: The Pitfalls of Guaranteed Tuition Plans. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 48(2), 59-66.  link >

Delaney, J. A. (2016). Interactions between federal academic earmarks and state funding for higher education: An instrumental variables approach. Journal of Education Finance, 42(1), 49-78.

Yu, P., & Delaney, J. A. (2016). The Spread of Higher Education Around the Globe: A Cross-Country Analysis of Gross Tertiary Education Enrollment, 1999-2005. Educational Policy, 30(2), 281-321.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Kearney, T. D. (2015). Guaranteed Tuition Policies and State General Appropriations for Higher Education: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis. Journal of Education Finance, 40(4), 359-390.

Delaney, J. A., & Kearney, T. D. (2015). The impact of guaranteed tuition policies on postsecondary tuition levels: A difference-in-difference approach. Economics of Education Review, 47, 80-99.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Doyle, W. R. (2014). State Spending on Higher Education Capital Outlays. Research in Higher Education, 55(5), 433-466.  link >

Delaney, J. A. (2014). The Role of State Policy in Promoting College Affordability. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 655(1), 56-78.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Yu, P. (2013). Policy innovation and tertiary education graduation rates: a cross-country analysis. Compare, 43(3), 387-409.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Yu, P. (2013). The role of tuition fees in the spread of higher education around the globe. In Higher Education in the Global Age: Policy, Practice and Promise in Emerging Societies (pp. 288-326). Taylor and Francis.  link >

Delaney, J. A. (2011). Earmarks and state appropriations for higher education. Journal of Education Finance, 37(1), 3-23.

Delaney, J. A. (2011). Introduction to the special issue on higher education. Journal of Education Finance, 36(4), 339-341.

Delaney, J. A. (2011). State Merit-based Aid and Enrolling in Graduate Study: Evidence From the Scholarship. Journal of Student Financial Aid , 41(2).

Delaney, J. A., & Doyle, W. R. (2011). State spending on higher education: Testing the balance wheel over time. Journal of Education Finance, 36(4), 343-369.

Doyle, W. R., & Delaney, J. A. (2011). Bouncebacks in Higher Education Funding: Patterns in Length of Time to Recovery Following Cuts in State Appropriations. (WISCAPE Policy Brief). Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education.

Doyle, W. R., Delaney, J. A., & Naughton, B. A. (2009). Does institutional aid compensate for or comply with state policy? Research in Higher Education, 50(5), 502-523.  link >

Doyle, W. R., & Delaney, J. A. (2009). Higher Education Funding: The New Normal. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 41(4), 60-62.  link >

Delaney, J. A., & Doyle, W. R. (2007). The Role of Higher Education in State Budgets. In K. M. Shaw, & D. E. Heller (Eds.), State Postsecondary Education Research: New Methods to Inform Policy and Practice Stylus Publishing.

Doyle, W. R., Delaney, J. A., & Naughton, B. A. (2004). Institutions Amplifying State Policy: How Public Colleges Award Institutional Aid. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 36(4), 36-41.  link >

Fitzgerald, B. K., & Delaney, J. A. (2002). Educational Opportunity in America. In D. Heller (Ed.), Condition of access: Higher education for lower income students (pp. 3-24). Oryx Press.


Higher Education Finance (EOL 576)

Higher Education Finance (EOL 576) This section meets...

Public Policy in Higher Ed (EOL 577)

Higher Education Finance (EPOL 555) Explores the foundations of higher education finance by analyzing key theories, structures, and challenges of college and university financing. Students will examine readings, present papers and actively participate in class discussions, so as to better comprehend the financial complexities dictating current institutional policies and practices.

The College Student (EPOL 563) Study of the characteristics and development of college students, the institutional contexts in which they operate, and the interaction of students with the college environment.

Public Policy in Higher Ed (EPOL 566) Intended primarily for doctoral students in higher education, this course will enable students to analyze contemporary public policy issues confronting American higher education. Selected policy issues will be probed in depth, drawing upon scholarly sources and public reports. Students will comprehend the interaction and tension among higher education leaders, and local, state, and federal policymakers.