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Amy Li, Ph.D.

Amy Li, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

She, Her, Hers
Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership
College of Education and Behavioral Sciences

Contact Information

Mailing Address
University of Northern Colorado
Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership
Campus Box 103
Greeley, CO 80639

Professional/Academic Experience

 Amy Li is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership at the University of Northern Colorado. She teaches finance, public policy, assessment and evaluation, and organizations and administration. Her research focuses on higher education finance and public policy, specifically performance funding, student loan debt, state policy adoption, and “free” college/Promise programs. She studies the impact of local and state policies on student access and college completion and is particularly interested in outcomes for historically underrepresented populations (e.g. students of color, lower SES). Dr. Li’s work has appeared in Research in Higher EducationThe Review of Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Community College Review, and Teachers College Record. She has secured funding from the American Educational Research Association, the AccessLex Institute and Association for Institutional Research, and from the Institute of Education Sciences as a pre-doctoral fellow. She was a 2015-16 recipient of a dissertation grant from the American Educational Research Association and a 2017 recipient of honorable mention for the dissertation of the year award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Li earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, her M.Ed. in Higher Education and Student Affairs and her Bachelor’s in Economics, both from the University of Utah.


Publications/Creative Works

Recent Journal Articles:

Li, A.Y., & Ortagus, J.C. (2019). Raising the stakes: Impacts of the Complete College Tennessee Act on underserved student enrollment and sub-baccalaureate credentials. The Review of Higher Education, 43(1), 295-333. 

Li, A.Y. (in press). The weight of the metric: Performance funding and the retention of historically underserved students. The Journal of Higher Education.                     

Li, A.Y., & Zumeta, W. (2019). Helping students or just taking their cuts? How prioritization of state student aid programs responds to downturns in higher education appropriations. Teachers College Record, 121(8).

Li, A.Y., Gándara, D., & Assalone. A. (2018). Equity or disparity: Do performance funding policies disadvantage 2-year minority-serving institutions? Community College Review, 46(3), 288-315.

Li, A.Y. (2018, Online first). Performance funding policy impacts on STEM degree attainment. Educational Policy.

Li, A.Y., & Kennedy, A.I. (2018). Performance funding policy effects on community college outcomes: Are short-term certificates on the rise? Community College Review, 46(1), 3-39.

Kelchen, R., & Li, A.Y. (2017). Institutional accountability: A comparison of the predictors of student loan repayment and default rates. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 671(1), 202-223.

Li. A.Y. (2017). Dramatic declines in higher education appropriations: State conditions for budget punctuations. Research in Higher Education, 58(4), 395-429.

Li, A.Y. (2017). The point of the point: Washington’s Student Achievement Initiative through the looking glass of a community college.Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 41(3), 183-202.

Li. A.Y. (2017). Covet thy neighbor or “reverse policy diffusion?” State adoption of performance funding 2.0 Research in Higher Education, 58(7), 746-771.

Recent Policy Reports:

Li, A.Y., & Mishory, J. (2018). Financing institutions in the free college debate. Washington, DC: The Century Foundation. https://tcf.org/content/report/financing-institutions-free-college-debate/

Li, A.Y. (2018). Lessons learned: A case study of performance funding in higher education. Washington, DC: Third Way. https://www.thirdway.org/report/lessons-learned-a-case-study-of-performance-funding-in-higher-education

Li, A.Y., Kennedy, A.I., & Sebastian, M.L. (2018). Policy design matters: The impact of performance funding policies on community college credential completions (WISCAPE Policy Brief). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE). https://wiscape.wisc.edu/wiscape/publications/policy-briefs/pb028

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