What is a degree or certificate worth, especially as the cost continues to grow? Is college still a sure path to a better career and life? These are the questions that many students and families in the United States are wrestling with today. And those of us concerned with improving higher education must examine them, too.
When we can measure value, we can take steps to improve it and make it more equitable. We measure value by whether and how students are better off as a result of their education – from earnings premium and parity to economic mobility and security.
What matters when it comes to the value of education after high school? Equity matters. Measures matter. Policy and programs matter. Returns matter. All for a better living and a better life.
Answering the Call
While there has been a lot of attention focused on expanding access to college and increasing success in college, now there is growing interest with the return on investment of college. New debt and earnings data are prompting much-needed conversations about whether—and how—colleges and universities are providing opportunities for economic mobility for their students.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), has formed a national commission to examine what we are learning about the value of postsecondary education and offer recommendations about how to define and measure that value.
Commission leaders offer their thoughts about why this work matters now more than ever, as colleges and universities strive to provide equitable opportunity in an uncertain time.
Meet the Commission
This diverse group of national leaders and experts from inside and outside higher education is tackling the question of how to define and measure postsecondary value. Learn more about the commission members and some of their perspectives about this critical issue.