New Report Identifies Critical Predictive Metrics for Preventing a “Lost COVID Cohort”

Education Strategy Group (ESG) and the Level Up Coalition have released a new report, From Tails To Heads: Building Momentum for Postsecondary Success, estimating that there are roughly 7,000 high schools across the United States in which students of color or from low-income families have less than a 50 percent chance of transitioning directly to higher education following high school graduation. The report identifies eight of the most predictive measures for state and district leaders to prioritize in order to improve students’ postsecondary enrollment and success, changing the trajectory of these “coin flip” high schools.  

From Tails To Heads: Building Momentum for Postsecondary Success offers a framework for a new set of postsecondary transition metrics for states and communities to prioritize in order to help more students successfully move to and through higher education. Collectively, the “Momentum Metrics” identified in the report represent eight critical predictive indicators of postsecondary preparation, retention, and success. The Momentum Metrics include:

  • 9th Grade GPA
  • Potential for Advanced Coursework
  • High-Quality Pathway Participation
  • College Application
  • FAFSA Completion
  • College Match
  • Seamless Enrollment
  • Gateway Course Completion

These metrics are designed to help educators and administrators target resources and supports at the individual student level as well as to inform broader conversations at the aggregate level about advising policies and programs. 

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