As President Barack Obama and the U.S. Department of Education continue their rollout of initiatives aimed at improving college attainment, it's easy to believe that the federal government has the primary responsibility for higher education. While the federal government invests considerable resources in student financial aid - the president is merely working around the edges: the lion's share of strategies and policies to shepherd students from the K-12 system into higher education are created at the state, not federal, level. The 50 states are largely moving in different directions, and few state leaders are effectively facing the extraordinary challenges that limit college enrollment and completion. For businesses, this failure in state leadership often means an inadequately trained workforce. For far too many students, it means an American Dream that is increasingly out of reach.