K-12 to Postsecondary Transitions During COVID-19: Opportunities for Governors and States

Background

During this time of unprecedented educational and economic disruption, governors and state leaders can take steps to ensure equitable access to postsecondary education for graduating seniors. Each year, roughly 2 million high school students will enroll in a two- or four-year institution. Those who go on to complete their postsecondary education have much stronger labor market outcomes than their peers who do not. COVID-19’s disruption of traditional educational supports and timelines could have a lasting impact on the current class of high school seniors’ educational and financial future. Though evidence is preliminary, several recent surveys suggest that a significant number of high school seniors are reconsidering their college plans for 2020, with as many as 20 percent indicating they may not attend at all if their institutions are only able to provide online instruction. At least one survey found that minority students were significantly more likely than their white peers to report that the impacts of COVID-19 may either change their top college choice or make them more likely to not enroll at all this fall.

All NGA coronavirus memos can be found here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for current information on the status of COVID-19 In The United States, a list of actions states/territories have taken to address both the public health and economic impacts, and policy resources.