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College Completion Agenda State Policy Guide

Policy Paper
June 28, 2010
The College Board and the National Conference of State Legislatures joined together to produce a practical policy guide for state legislators to pursue each of the Commission on Access, Admissions and Success in Higher Education's recommendations. The guide acts as a road map toward increasing the number of Americans who attain a postsecondary degree and empowering legislators to be an even more positive and active force in education reform.

Each of the commission’s recommendations is the focus of a chapter in the State Policy Guide. The ten recommendations are:

  • Provide a program of voluntary preschool education, universally available to children from low-income families
  • Improve middle and high school college and career counseling
  • Implement the best research-based dropout prevention programs
  • Align the K–12 education system with international standards and college admission expectations
  • Improve teacher quality and focus on recruitment and retention
  • Clarify and simplify the admission process
  • Provide more need-based grant aid while simplifying and making financial aid processes more transparent
  • Keep college affordable
  • Dramatically increase college completion rates
  • Provide postsecondary opportunities as an essential element of adult education programs

Each chapter includes:

  • Brief background information on the topic;
  • A list of questions that state legislators need to ask about conditions in their own states;
  • An overview of current and relevant research;
  • Specific strategies for dealing with the problems;
  • The cost implications of the policy strategies (including low- , medium- and high-cost options);
  • Examples of policies that are currently being implemented in the states; and
  • Short- , medium- and long-term action steps state legislators can take.