Nick Hillman

Professor and Director of SSTAR Lab

249 Education Building

Hillman, Nicholas

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Nicholas Hillman is a Professor in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Hillman’s research examines how finance, policy, and geography shape educational opportunities in the United States. He also directs the Student Success Through Applied Research Lab, a research-practice partnership with the university’s Division of Enrollment Management. Dr. Hillman co-edited the book, Civil Rights and Federal Higher Education and is a faculty affiliate with the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Research on Poverty and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.


  • PhD Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Indiana University-Bloomington, School of Education, 2010
  • MPA Public Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, 2005
  • BS Public Affairs, Indiana University-Bloomington, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, 2003

Select Media Contributions

  • Marketwatch, 2 million Americans have been repaying their federal student-loans for 20 years. (March, 2021). Media Link
  • NPR Here & Now, Graduates in Maine Have Some of the Highest Student Loan Debts: How Could Biden Change That?. (January, 2021). Media Link
  • Maine Public Radio, A third of Maine student loan borrowers could have their debt eliminated under plan floated by Biden. (January, 2021). Media Link
  • USA Today, Poor colleges need to get richer to put low-income students on a path to success. (December, 2020). Media Link
  • Hechinger Report, Is forgiving college debt the best way to solve the student loan crisis?. (December, 2020). Media Link
  • Marketplace, Would cancelling $10,000 in student debt really help that much?. (November, 2020). Media Link
  • Inside Higher Ed, Report: Rich college keep getting richer. (November, 2020). Media Link
  • Wisconsin State Journal, Left out: How the federal COVID-19 formula hurt some of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable college students. (October, 2020). Media Link
  • Wisconsin State Journal, (August, 2020). Media Link
  • Wisconsin State Journal, UW-Madison drops ACT/SAT test requirement for students applying this fall. (July, 2020). Media Link

Select Awards and Honors

  • Excellence in Public Policy Award, Association for the Study of Higher Education, 2018
  • Robert P. Huff Award for Research Excellence, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, 2017
  • Teaching Award, Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2017