Skip to main content


College Opportunity at Risk

Unless state and college leaders take steps to ensure that more Americans attain postsecondary degrees and certifications, the United States will be woefully unprepared for the economic and civic challenges of the 21st century.

The College Opportunity Risk Assessment is the first state-by-state analytic tool to consider the breadth of the policy landscape that must be navigated to ensure future educational opportunity. All states face risks to college opportunity, but each state faces different types and levels of risk within their diverse economic and social realities. To guide state policy makers in mitigating these risks, we offer individual state risk assessments based on four interrelated risk categories—higher education performance, educational equity, public funding and productivity, and economic policies that influence public revenue and budgeting.

Press Release

Penn GSE Report Assesses and Ranks the Risk to College Opportunity in All 50 States

Project Publications

College Opportunity at Risk: An Assessment of the States
A national overview plus recommendations for state leaders, college and university leaders, and other policy makers.

Technical guide
Details on how each risk category is scored, data sources, and common definitions.

State risk assessments
An assessment of each state’s unique risks, ranking them from 1 (low) to 50 (high) using 17 indicators in four interrelated risk categories.

Press Coverage

WNPR (7/16/18): Report Says Connecticut At Risk Of Having Unprepared Future Workforce

Rutland Herald (7/13/18): Report highlights strengths and weaknesses in Vt. higher ed

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/11/18): Is Georgia following recipe for dropouts and debt rather than degrees?