Let’s build a more effective and equitable system of postsecondary pathways that helps all individuals invest in their future.
Our country markets pursuing conventional higher education as a crucial investment in the future. However, for too many Americans, particularly those from systemically marginalized communities, it’s a high-stakes gamble.
Admission explores the roots of this challenge and how to build a more equitable and effective system of postsecondary pathways — one that gives all individuals the information, navigation support, and versatile, inclusive, high-quality options they need to exercise their power of choice.
the process or fact of entering or being allowed to enter a place, organization, or institution.
a statement acknowledging the truth of something.
What are the challenges?
Postsecondary pathways — especially conventional two- and four-year colleges — provide plenty of value in the aggregate. But that value is inconsistent, inequitably distributed, and not transparent for those making the critical choice to invest in a pathway.
Admission highlights three structural challenges in the current postsecondary system.
Inequitable Completion Rates:
Recouping value from a postsecondary pathway starts with completing it — but only half of students who start a four-year degree program complete it within eight years. Black, Hispanic, low-income, and first-generation students are less likely to complete college than white or higher-income students.
Variable and Opaque Value:
Even when students complete a pathway, they may not achieve a return on their substantial investment. One-third of all bachelor’s degree programs don’t pay back their cost to students within 10 years (or ever).
Overwhelming Cost and Debt:
The rising cost of many postsecondary pathways and the associated debt means students can suffer life-altering financial consequences if they fail to graduate or pick a pathway with a low return on investment.
Admission proposes three enablers of choice that could be the basis for transforming our postsecondary system.
Providing clear, timely, accessible, customizable, comparable, and credible information that helps individuals answer the questions of “What do I want to be?” and “Which postsecondary pathways maximize my chances of succeeding in that pursuit?”
The social capital required to navigate a complex system that people with privilege commonly have and people from systemically marginalized communities often lack — a network of trusted, informed, culturally inclusive, and unbiased advisers.
A set of versatile, inclusive, high-quality pathway options that meet individuals across a range of life stages and circumstances — nonlinear and cyclical, with on-ramps and off-ramps for ongoing professional advancement, that address short-term needs without foreclosing future opportunities.
Admission will work with postsecondary stakeholders to develop a learning agenda of what it will take to maximize equity and effectiveness in the system, an action agenda of what steps stakeholders can take individually and collectively, and an advocacy agenda to shift institutional policies and unleash innovation at scale.
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