Dr. Daniel Collier

Assistant Professor, Leadership Department

(901) 678-2369
Ball Hall 123F
Office Hours
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About Dr. Daniel Collier

Dr. Daniel A. Collier is an Assistant Professor of Higher and Adult Education in the Department of Leadership at the University of Memphis. Dan is also a research fellow for Davidson College’s The College Crisis Initiative (C2i) and the UCI Law School at the University of California – Irvine via the Student Loan Law Initiative (SLLI).

Before joining the University of Memphis, Dr. Collier was a research associate at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research – where he researched the Kalamazoo Promise, a place-based tuition-free higher education policy.  Dan also previously served as the Director of Research for the $1.8m campus initiative at Western Michigan University title “Success at WMU” – conducting a combination of descriptive and causal analyses.  Dr. Collier is particularly interested in implementing random assignment protocols or research that employs Structural Equation Modeling (SEM).

Dr. Collier’s research agenda is focused on three primary areas: Student Loan Debt & Income-Driven Repayment, Tuition-Free Policy, and Student Non-Cognitive Attributes & Basic Needs.  Dan’s recent work can be found in Research in Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development, The Journal of College Student Development, The Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, and the Journal of Student Financial Aid.  Furthermore, several policy briefs and short papers can be read at The Third Way and W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.  Finally, Dr. Collier has been a go-to resource for media outlets like the Detroit Free Press, Inside Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Money, Yahoo Finance, and CNBC.  

Dr. Collier has professional associations with The Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP), Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE), and more.  Daniel also serves as the Associate Editor for the Journal of Student Financial Aid and reviews for many of the top higher education journals and conferences.


Ph.D. – Educational Policy, Organization & Leadership, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A. – Human Performance Improvement, Roosevelt University

B.S. – History, Bradley University

A.A. – Liberal Arts, Elgin Community College


See Dr. Collier’s Updated CV - HERE

Selected Pieces

Collier, D.A., McMullen, I., & Hershbein, B.J. (2021, April 19). How College Enrollment Changed for Kalamazoo Promise Students Between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://research.upjohn.org/up_policypapers/25/  

Collier, D.A., & McMullen, I. (2021). Modeling first-year stop out of Kalamazoo Promise scholars: Mapping influences of socioeconomic advantage and pre-college performance to college