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Closing the College Participation Gap

From the ECS State Policy Database: Postsecondary Participation--Access/Outreach - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

States with Guaranteed College Admissions Policies for High School Graduates - This brief summarizes legislative and postsecondary system efforts to guarantee admission to college for high school students who meet prescribed standards. The methods for measuring eligibility for automatic admission vary widely across the 10 states that have such rules. The automatic admission standards are instructive because they represent a state or systemwide understanding of what constitutes postsecondary readiness. Further, these policies, when paired with common placement standards and a shared definition of college and career readiness could create true P-20 alignment in states. (Matthew Smith, ECS, October 2013) ...

Higher Education Access for America’s Vulnerable Students - This PowerPoint, presented at the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) 2012 National Conference, identifies obstacles to postsecondary participation, particularly among disadvantaged students. The presentation notes current state approaches to providing college counseling, highlights programs in Oregon and Colorado that have improved college participation for traditionally underserved youth, and points to other obstacles to postsecondary participation states are increasingly addressing. (Omari Scott Simmons, Wake Forest University, and Jennifer Dounay Zinth, ECS, October 2012)....

Strategies to Empower Low-Income and Minority Students in Gaining Admission to and Paying for College PDF - This policy brief identifies barriers created by federal, state and local policies that pose a particular challenge for aspiring first-generation college students in the college and financial aid application process, and provides suggestions for how state-level policy might address each barrier. A final section on "other" barriers to college entry seeks to alert policymakers to emerging issues for which adequate institutional, state and federal policy responses are needed. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, November 2008)...

Effective Collaboration and Coordination: Lessons from Research and Practice - This brief summarizes research on how collaborative relationships among college access stakeholders can strengthen programs that serve low-income students and can help sustain activities funded by the College Access Grant.(January 2014)....

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