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Publication September 2019 | 8 pages

Workforce-Driven Financial Aid: Policies and Strategies
Essential Elements of State Policy For College Completion

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The rapidly evolving workplace has created a shortage of skilled and educated workers in many fields, leaving essential jobs unfilled and millions of adults unqualified for them. This policy brief summarizes statewide strategies to support financial assistance for students in programs designed to address workforce needs. It includes suggestions for states that are evaluating, or considering creating, workforce-driven financial aid policies.



Percent of Undergraduate Credit-/Contact Hours Taken by High School Students, SREB States
Fact Book Table 42 (Higher Education: Enrollment & Instructional Delivery Modes Chapter)


What’s in this file?

Credit-hours, contact hours, High school students, United States, West, Midwest, Northeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18.


Dale Winkler
Vice President, School Improvement

Dale Winkler was named vice president of school improvement in April 2018. He joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2015 as special assistant to the senior vice president of the organization’s school improvement team, where he brings more than 19 years of experience working on issues related to leadership and policy in the area of college and career readiness. 


Tim Shaughnessy
Program Director, Career Pathways

Tim Shaughnessy joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2015. He brings years of experience as a past community college leader, state legislator and healthcare executive. In his role at SREB, Tim works with the school improvement team to develop and strengthen career and technical education pathway programs of study. He also helps identify the critical success factors necessary for states’ successful implementation of effective, efficient and sustainable pathway models.


Equity in Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment options have not reached their potential for all students, especially for students of color, low-income students and those in rural areas, according to U.S. and state studies. Keeping dual enrollment affordable is one essential strategy.


Dual Enrollment Initiative

SREB’s Dual Enrollment Initiative is working with states to find effective solutions to dual enrollment concerns such as cost and equity. The project is exploring how dual enrollment can: 

  • make college more affordable for students from a wide range of income groups
  • provide quality educational experiences for students from all geographic areas and racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • help states meet their educational attainment and workforce goals

Dual Enrollment
A head start toward college and career

Earning college credit in high school can make college more affordable for families and states. Dual enrollment and other accelerated options can also help prepare high school students for the rigor of careers and the campus environment. Readiness, affordability and time to degree are central components of postsecondary completion and state goals to improve educational attainment.

SREB publishes data and state policy on dual enrollment and brings together policymakers from many arenas to address issues such as cost, equity and funding.