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Maximizing Resources for Student Success

A set of working papers from HCM Strategists provides examples on ways colleges and universities can improve access and affordability for low-income students. The papers address such topics as competency-based education, tuition and financial aid, reducing time-to-degree, and strengthening transfer pathways for community-college students. More »


Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works

Too many young people are getting lost along the way from education to employment, says this report from McKinsey & Company. Based on surveys with 8,000 young adults, employers, and education providers in nine countries, this report examines the components, interventions and programs behind successful education-to-employment systems and what can be done to bring these efforts to scale. More »


Essential Elements of State Policy for College Completion: Outcomes-Based Funding

Outcomes-based funding, which awards state dollars to public colleges based in part on student completion rather than enrollment only, is a growing strategy among states to increase college-attainment rates. This report, from the Southern Regional Education Board, examines various state outcome-based efforts and offers essential elements it says are necessary for effective statewide outcomes-based funding policies. More »

Degree attainment

Completing College: A National Review of Attainment Rates

More students follow diverse pathways to obtain their college degree, with many transferring to several schools before they graduate, enrolling part time or switching between part-time and full-time status. These realities call for changes in the way attainment rates are currently calculated, says this report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. More »


Inseparable Imperatives: Equity in Education and the Future of the American Economy

As U.S. policymakers search for answers to rebuild the economy, one priority strategy must be a plan to eliminate gaps in education attainment so that the fastest-growing populations – students of color and diverse ethnicities – can reach their full potential, concludes this report from Alliance for Excellent Education. More »

Workforce development

A Decade Behind: Breaking out of the Low-Skill Trap in the Southern Economy

Increasing educational attainment is making inroads in the South, but many parts of the region continue to lag behind the nation in creating high-paying jobs and producing workers with the skills to fill them, says this study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. A Decade Behind offers a state-by-state analysis of employment and education profiles to help guide the South out of the low-skill/low-wage equilibrium. More »


Making Performance Funding Work for All

Efforts to implement performance funding should improve higher education for all students, not just those most likely to succeed, contends this report from The Working Poor Families Project. The report features comparisons of input- and outcomes-based higher education funding models, as well as policy recommendations to ensure low-income and non-traditional students are not adversely affected by new performance funding policies. More »