This report builds on the findings of Measuring Up 2004: The National Report Card on Higher Education, published by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education. Cracks in the Education Pipeline presents a forceful argument for a renewed commitment to higher education. The report discusses trends in college preparation, participation, completion, affordability, and benefits, and provides action steps that business leaders can take to help launch change in their own states and at the national level. The new report arrives at a critical time, as economic and demographic changes exert new pressures on today's workforce. New job growth favors high-skill workers, and the impending retirement of the baby boom generation will lead to a workforce that comes increasingly from populations that have traditionally been less likely to attend college.