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Statewide Aid Policies to Improve College Access and Success

Jodut Hashmi

Through its Vision Project, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts has established a goal to produce the best-educated citizenry and workforce in the nation. Toward achieving this leadership status, the project has identified five key educational outcomes for the Massachusetts public higher education system:

  • College Participation: Increasing the college-going rates and college readiness of high school graduates;
  • College Completion: Raising graduation and success rates of students;
  • Student Learning: Enhancing student academic achievements as measured by campus-based and national assessments;
  • Workforce Alignment: Aligning degree programs with workforce needs of the state‚Äôs economy; and
  • Elimination of Disparities: Achieving comparable results among ethnic, racial, economic, and gender groups for the preceding four outcomes.

This paper focuses on three of those outcomes: college participation; college completion; and the elimination of disparities in outcomes between different groups of students. It provides background information for developing and implementing state financial aid policy to achieve the goals identified within the key outcomes for the Vision Project.