Methodology Review

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Knocking at the College Door

WICHE has been producing projections of high school graduates for the states individually and the nation as a whole going back over 30 years. These projections have routinely been viewed as the most useful forecasts of future postsecondary enrollment demand from recent high school graduates and even enrollment in K-12 schools by a wide and diverse array of audiences. In spite of its success, WICHE believed the time had come to undertake a review of the methodological approach it used to prepare its projections, a methodology that had not been rigorously examined at any point during the projections’ series entire history. Advances in technology and predictive analytics suggested that such a review would, at a minimum, provide an enhanced level of confidence in the methodology, even if it did not suggest changes were needed. WICHE also felt the time was right to investigate other ways in which its expertise in projecting high school graduates could be deployed, such as by providing additional disaggregations of the national and state-level data or by releasing the projections in more interactive and useful ways to the various audiences.