Check out the To&Through Issue Briefs below for summaries of the research on what contributes most to high school and college success, and how schools are acting on it.

To&Through Issue Brief: Attendance


Research from the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research shows that attendance is important for all students. A student’s attendance strongly influences his or her grades, which is why almost all freshmen with strong attendance pass their classes. Learn more about why attendance matters and some strategies schools are using to improve it.

To&Through Issue Brief: Grades


UChicago Consortium research has shown that a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA) is a better predictor of college success than his or her test scores. Grades are so important because they capture many of the noncognitive aspects of students’ work habits that test scores miss, such as executive functioning, academic perseverance, and growth mindset. Learn more about why grades matter and strategies schools are using to improve students' academic achievement.

FOT Issue Brief

Freshman OnTrack

Research from UChicago Consortium shows that freshman year is a make-it-or-break-it year for high school students. Course performance in the freshman year of high school is the most predictive indicator of whether a student will drop out of high school—more predictive than race, ethnicity, poverty level, and prior test scores combined. Learn more about why Freshman OnTrack matters and strategies schools are using to improve the ninth grade transition.

To&Through Issue Brief: College Choice

College Choice

Regardless of their academic qualifications, students’ likelihood of graduating from a given college mirrors the institutional graduation rate. This is also true for students with strong grades in high school; in fact, college choice matters the most for students with strong academic qualifications. Learn more about why college choice matters and strategies schools are using to help students navigate the college selection process.