• Increase the Number of High School Graduates. Develop strategies to improve basic skills: involve parents, business leaders, and the community in the educational process, and ensure sufficient financial support of low-income districts.
  • Improve College Access. Create college tuition policies based on median income and support need-based financial aid; build high-capacity, open-entry, two-year college systems that encourage transfer; encourage dual enrollment and advanced placement policies that speed the transition from high school to college.
  • Promote Graduation from College. Set up programs for individual learners; support intensive enrollment in basic coursework in the first college year; develop schedules based on students' needs; avoid pushing students toward a high education debt; establish transfer policies that retain academic credit.


  • Creating educational policies to address key transition points in the educational pipeline can pay substantial dividends in educational capital.
  • Changes in educational approach, organization and delivery result in changes in performance. Policy matters. Policies used in combination have the greatest impact.
  • Those who can prosper in an environment tend to remain, so increasing the state's benefits to its residents in turn increases the state's health and wealth.


The concepts reflected in this supplement are from Conceptualizing and Researching the Educational Pipeline, by Peter T. Ewell, Dennis P. Jones, and Patrick J. Kelly of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. For most current data, see The National Information Center for Higher Education Policymaking and Analysis web site at


The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education promotes public policies that enhance Americans' opportunities to pursue and achieve a quality higher education. Established in 1998, the National Center is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. It is not associated with any institution of higher education, with any political party, or with any government agency.

The Policy Alert series is supported by grants to the National Center by The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The statements and views expressed in this report, however, do not necessarily reflect those of the funders, and are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.

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