America’s public state universities were established primarily to serve the residents of their respective states, but recent findings show that state institutions are increasingly appealing to out-of-state students. Opponents of this practice have concerns that certain in-state applicants are being neglected and left behind. An analysis of 100 state universities, including the flagship institution of each state and one additional prominent public university, shows that from 2004 to 2014, 74 saw declines in in-state freshmen as a share of total enrollment.

Critical to state education and economic goals, adult learners will represent a majority of college students in the near future, yet they are largely an untapped resource. States and higher education institutions must adequately address their unique needs, concerns and expectations with comprehensive, proactive and targeted strategies that reflect this new reality.

As state leaders construct public policy to support increased educational attainment and workforce development, they need be mindful of the assumptions about college students and their attendance patterns embedded in most state financial aid programs. Reforming state aid is one necessary step to supporting student success.

As states implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services have released guidance on mitigating disruption in education for students in foster care; states should implement programs to meet the mandate’s requirements by December 10, 2016.

CSG Midwest
Starting in 2017, all of Nebraska’s high school juniors will take a college admissions exam such as the ACT or SAT. Under the recently enacted LB 930, the state Department of Education can use lottery proceeds to pay for administration of the test.
CSG Midwest
The switch from military to civilian life holds many challenges, but a partnership of Midwestern states is hoping to ease this transition by using a service member’s military experience to increase postsecondary degree completion and streamline pathways for earning professional certification.
The Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit is coordinated by the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, a nonprofit organization serving 13 states in the region.

CSG Midwest

One of the more notable trends in state policy over the past decade has been the increased legislative activity and investment around early childhood education. In the Midwest, countless laws and programs (some new, some long-standing) are now in place, from “Preschool for All” in Illinois to “Gearing Up for Kindergarten” in North Dakota.

The U.S. Department of Education released its first nationally comprehensive data on chronic absenteeism in June, revealing that about 6.5 million students—or 13 percent of the total student population—were absent at least 15 days during the 2013-2014 school year. The problem is so extensive that in October 2015 the presidential administration launched the Every Student, Every Day initiative to reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year. 

In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin the Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions program is constitutional, as least of 2008, when this case was first brought. Justice Kagan did not participate in this case.

Even though this case arises in the higher education context, the Supreme Court has decided relatively few affirmative action cases so all are of interest to state and local governments that use race as a factor in decision-making.  

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The US Department of Education has issued a report highlighting the stark contrast between the value early childhood education offers to the nation’s children, and the relatively low wages early childhood educators receive for their work, which can make attracting and retaining high quality teachers a challenge.

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