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.

Initiatives and Resources

Data Resources

Technical Assistance

Recognition of Learning

Knocking at the College Door

Task Force: Closing Attainment Gaps

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 is convening a Task Force of cross-sector teams from three state partners–Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming–to create action plans for addressing their state’s most pressing disparities in credential attainment and to jointly develop regional recommendations for the West.

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Latest Data Resource

WICHE’s data resources are updated throughout the year to provide relevant and timely analysis of postsecondary trends in the West. The included visualization is the undergraduate enrollment metrics included in WICHE’s annually updated Benchmarks series and highlights trends in postsecondary enrollment for the West and each state and territory. The latest Benchmarks edition includes nine interactive dashboards focused in the areas of access, attainment, finance, and affordability. Across all data resources, WICHE provides a comprehensive overview of relevent higher education trends in the West.

In Focus

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WICHE regularly shares relevant research and policy reports and other WICHE news.