“Crossing the Finish Line …demonstrates the high value of information locked away in administrative databases, and suggests new and potentially powerful approaches to increasing the nation’s population of college-educated citizens,” Whitehurst writes.
Four areas that will have to be part of our approach to increasing college graduation rates, according to Whitehurst: improving elementary and middle school preparation, making college more affordable, reducing leaks in the pipeline to graduation, and freeing up information about institutional performance.
Whitehurst is not persuaded that reducing “undermatch”—that is, reducing the number of students who attend less selective colleges, when they have high school GPAs and test scores that would qualify them to attend more selective colleges—will boost college graduation rates. He calls for more research on this matter, suspecting that students who choose to attend less selective colleges might be different from students who choose to attend more selective colleges.
[Earlier, Education Next interviewed Matt Chingos, one of the authors of Crossing the Finish Line. The video is available here.]