Policy and Research

Providing unbiased, relevant policy and data resources

WICHE’s Policy Analysis and Research supports better-informed decision-making through numerous research projects and collaborations focused on postsecondary completion, closing attainment gaps, adult learners, and multistate data sharing to support educational planning and workforce development. Staff serve as expert resources on higher education issues including finance, state and federal financial aid, articulation and transfer, strategic planning, and student demographics. Publications, including the WICHE Insights series, explore a range of significant policy issues, while staff members also undertake long-term grant-funded projects, collaborate with regional and national partners, and provide short-term technical assistance to WICHE members.

Data ResourcesTechnical AssistanceRecognition of LearningKnocking at the College DoorOpen Educational Resources

WICHE curates and provides state and regional data relevant to postsecondary access and success, demographics, higher education finance and affordability, and more.

WICHE’s team works directly with diverse partners to provide meeting facilitation, legislative testimony, capacity-building, and other services.

WICHE is engaged in a broad-based research effort to examine the state of play for recognition of learning, identify policy and practice barriers and exemplars, and develop new evaluations and research to place better information in the hands of policymakers and practitioners.

Every four years for almost 40 years now, WICHE has published Knocking at the College Door, with detailed data and projections more than 15 years forward on high school graduate populations for all 50 states. With detailed data by state, gender, and ethnicity, WICHE’s national research on this topic is often considered, as the Boston Globe has termed it, “the industry gold standard.”

WICHE aims to increase access, affordability, and equity using Open Educational Resources (OER). OER are openly licensed and freely accessible materials used for teaching, learning, and research. OER can include textbooks, ancillary materials, media, and other digital materials. OER can be reused, revised, remixed, or redistributed while retaining credit to the original creator of the materials.

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Latest Data Resource

WICHE analysis of Census 2020 data reveal the increasing racial and ethnic nuance in the U.S. West’s diverse youth population. This new report with interactive charts and a state and county level dataset supplements the data about diversification available from WICHE’s 10th edition of Knocking at the College Door high school graduate projections.

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For questions, please contact:

Patrick Lane

Vice President, Policy Analysis and Research



Melissa Sanders

Administrative Assistant III, Policy Analysis and Research