Lower the student and family college cost burden for low- and
Develop FAFSA completion initiatives that strongly encourage or
require high school seniors to seek federal aid for
Establish a state longitudinal database or improve workforce
and education data in an existing one. Provide clear
analysis to inform better higher education funding
Conduct a full financial aid audit to highlight where there may
be financial aid gaps for students of various socioeconomic or
Publish an analysis of the
true costs of college at state institutions to incentivize
them to bring down total cost through efficiency.
Work with legislators to provide state aid to cover the gap
between the Pell award and the cost of public tuition and
fees. Determine the amount, which some organizations
previously estimated at $2,500.
Establish a process for approving new academic programs that
identifies the lowest possible costs to students for each
new or revised option.
Incentivize colleges to consider using more open educational
resources or low-cost texts.
Be transparent with students and families about the true
out-of-pocket cost of college and the value of obtaining a degree
that aligns with their skills and interests.
Collect, analyze and disaggregate the true out-of-pocket cost of
degrees for different student populations with varying resources
and needs (such as low-income, traditional, adult learner,
Publish the true out-of-pocket cost of degrees for student
populations with varying resources and needs ─ part-time
students, for example, or students who are parents.
Analyze and publish the value of different degrees, especially
for high-demand professions.
Focus on ways to help students complete their degree or
credential of value at a faster rate.
Adopt statewide universal transfer and articulation policies,
allowing acceptance of more courses for degree credit.
Develop policy for greater flexibility for meeting general
education course requirements, especially for transfer students.
Accredited institutions should be required to count as many
credits as possible — for full or even partial credit — to reduce
time to degree and cost.
Support colleges to create better course schedules and
Set state policy that limits degree
requirements to 120 credit hours for baccalaureate degree
programs or 60 credit hours for associate degree programs (unless
more are required for degree program accreditation).
Set state policy for accepting and applying credit toward degree
for dual enrollment courses and for Advanced Placement courses
with a test score of 3 or higher.
Emphasize the importance of higher education leaders and faculty
understanding workforce priorities and aligning education
programs with current and future needs.
Develop a list of in-demand occupations and provide incentives
for all postsecondary campuses that create or expand programs to
address these top workforce needs.
Develop student financial aid initiatives that support students
who are pursuing majors connected to in-demand careers.
Improve data governance and use of education and workforce data.
Provide campuses and policy leaders with a consistent source of
data, analysis and data translation, including:
a clear list of high-demand fields in the nation and the
state-level labor market supply and demand data
Provide increased guidance and
capacity to universities to collect regional and local workforce
supply and demand data.
Publicly share information about the types of programs,
certificates and degrees available across all colleges in the
state to help reduce under- and oversaturation in certain
disciplines or industries.
Create shared definitions and vocabulary among education,
workforce development and economic development about objectives
and measures of performance.
Eliminate state policy and process barriers to academic program
Identify any policy and process barriers that may deter
institutions from updating academic program offerings to better
align with current workforce needs.
Approve or deny program changes or approvals promptly, within 60
days if possible.
Provide colleges with updated approval processes and clear
program development guidance that:
Uses workforce supply and demand data to
inform decisions that lead to improved job-based curricula
that provide students with career skills to succeed in the
Empowers and incentivizes faculty to use workforce supply and
demand data to make regular adjustments to curricula to keep up
with industry needs
Incentivizes the use of current and emerging technologies and
software that employers use
Prevents oversaturation of programs in any one industry or
Allows for ending programs that are no longer relevant or
Support and encourage college administrators and faculty to
streamline their programmatic approval processes, which are often
longer than state approval processes.
Continue to build relevant career pathways for students, with
support as they transition to college and then on to careers.
Examine how the education system and the workforce system
interact, identifying barriers to better communication and
Remove any state rules or regulations preventing the use of
accelerated learning options, prior learning assessments,
stackable credentials or meta majors. Provide clear guidance on
these strategies to colleges and universities.