Formative Research

General information

Research to help define the problem to be addressed and the benefits of solving it.

A targeted, effective social marketing effort should be based on scientific research to confirm any assumptions you might have.

Formative research is used to better understand the problem and its causes. Preliminary research also helps to identify the appropriate target audience for a campaign and better understand their interests, behaviors, and needs as well as any environmental factors that influence their decisions and actions.

Use this section to review the latest county, state, and/or regional research on issues affecting college access such as graduation rates, education levels, public perception of higher education, public policy, and more.

Educational Needs Index
A county-level study of educational, economic, and population pressures that influence educational policy and planning at local, regional, and state levels. Assesses conditions and trends for all U.S. counties and allows comparisons across indicators.

KIDS COUNT is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the U.S. KIDS COUNT offers data for nearly 100 measures of child well-being.

Knocking at the College Door
Knocking at the College Door provides updated projections of high school graduates for each year and each state (plus the District of Columbia) through 2022.

Low-Income Families’ Perceptions of Postsecondary Education and College Access
This report summarizes low-income students’ aspirations, preparation, and resources for pursuing postsecondary education and documents parents’ expectations and support of their children’s education.

Measuring Up
A report accesses the performance of higher education both nationally and in each of the 50 states.

Midwestern Higher Education Compact
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact is charged with promoting interstate cooperation and resource sharing in higher education among Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Minding the Gap
This timely and instructive book from Jobs for the Future explores policies and practices that would quickly enable a larger number of low-income and first-generation college students to earn postsecondary degrees.

National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) Information Center
This website provides higher education policymakers and analysts with comparative education data for states and counties as well as useful reports on education policy.

New England Board of Higher Education: Trends & Indicators in Higher Education
This report explores changes in New England’s demography, minority enrollment, foreign enrollment, graduation rates, higher education financing and university research, and features a state-by-state comparison of Indicators of College Readiness.

Policy Indicators for Higher Education: WICHE States
WICHE States presents regional as well as state-by-state data with analyses on several fiscal, demographic, economic, and social indicators important to policymakers, educators, and researchers in the West.

Promise Lost: College-Qualified Students Who Don’t Enroll in College
This policy report sheds new light on the barriers that may prevent college-qualified students from enrolling in college, describes why these types of students do not enroll, and offers policy recommendations that may help greater numbers of college-qualified students gain access to college.

The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education
The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is one of the nation’s most comprehensive collections of comparative data on higher education.

Student Aversion to Borrowing: Who Borrows and Who Doesn’t
For millions of students, the increasing cost of a college education, combined with lower rates of growth in grant aid, have resulted in additional reliance on student loans to pay for college. This new report, from Excelencia in Education, highlights the borrowing patterns of students who choose to enroll in college and provides suggestions about why certain students may not borrow, even when borrowing seems to be a logical choice.

U.S. Census
Data on educational attainment of U.S. citizens by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin as well as how education relates to poverty, income, employment, and access to healthcare.