The path to a credential is often long and complex, and students can stray off course at many points along the way. Transitions between high school and college, and between two- and four-year institutions, are especially challenging. As of 2020, only 52% of public high school graduates enroll in an institution of higher education in Texas directly after completing high school. And, although 72% of Texas community college students are enrolled in an academic program designed to lead to transfer, only 35% of them actually do. Of those who successfully transfer, only 59% complete a credential within four years. Lack of information, support, and money often prevent students from finishing their programs efficiently, with minimal debt—or at all.
GTF supports policies and practices that provide affordable, clear, and efficient pathways for students to access and complete a postsecondary credential by:
- supporting regional and statewide collective action to create clear, outcomes-focused pathways for Texas students from high school through a postsecondary credential or degree;
- supporting organizations working to develop pathways to and through postsecondary credentials, particularly direct-service organizations filling a critical service gap;
- continuing the Greater Texas Foundation Scholars program, and exploring and developing scholarships or financial-aid initiatives that improve affordability and completion of postsecondary education;
- supporting research on solutions that improve affordability and completion; and
- using research to build the knowledge of partners, policymakers, and institutions.
Through this strand of work, we aim to increase the number of Texas students experiencing academic pathways to and through postsecondary education that are affordable, clear, and efficient.