Over the past two decades, a growing body of research has increased knowledge about what works to help students succeed in college and earn a degree. MDRC and other researchers have built evidence around programs, practices, and policies designed to support students in financial aid, developmental education, comprehensive student support programs, and other areas.
As states across the country seek solutions to increase college completion rates, close equity gaps, and develop a skilled workforce through greater postsecondary attainment, evidence from rigorous research can help inform decisions to improve outcomes for students. Yet despite the growing evidence base, it is often difficult for states and higher education systems to take full advantage of the rigorous research findings as they enact policies, make formal recommendations, or provide funding and resources to improve postsecondary outcomes while balancing other significant priorities.
In partnership with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), MDRC has launched Evidence to Action to understand how states use rigorous research to inform higher education decision-making at the system and state levels. MDRC and SHEEO are partnering with three states to document how various stakeholders support higher education, where evidence does or does not play a role, and what the opportunities and barriers are to the development, adoption, and implementation of evidence-based policies, programs, and practices at scale.