To provide legislators and decision makers with the data and information they need, the Policy Analysis and Research unit furnishes accurate and timely information and offers expertise that advance WICHE’s mission of expanding educational access and excellence. It accomplishes this goal through analyses of relevant data related to K-12 and postsecondary education, demography, labor market information, and higher education finances; through assistance with policy design and implementation; and through projects that respond to the demographics of the West.
Colorado is one of the most educated states in the nation, ranking high in the percentage of adults who attended college and hold bachelor's degrees. But state funding for higher education isn't what it used to be -- according to the American Council on Education, state support shrank nearly 70 percent between 1980 and 2011. The same study says funding could dry up completely by 2019; so perhaps it's no coincidence that the revenue public colleges and universities here get from tuition has increased every year since 2007.