News & Events / IHEP Offers Recommendations for Establishing the Postsecondary Student Success Recognition Program

IHEP Offers Recommendations for Establishing the Postsecondary Student Success Recognition Program

Published May 28, 2024

Washington, DC (May 28, 2024)The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) applauds the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for establishing the Postsecondary Student Success Recognition Program (PSSRP). This program aims to recognize institutions excelling in supporting students from all backgrounds to achieve affordable credentials and prepare for successful careers. IHEP submitted comments to ED outlining recommendations for developing the PSSRP.

The PSSRP should prioritize equity by recognizing institutions that:

  • Increase access for underserved populations: This includes first-generation students, students of color, and low-income students.
  • Promote diverse student bodies: Institutions committed to inclusion, not exclusion, should be rewarded.
  • Close equity gaps in student success: Institutions achieving strong outcomes for all students, regardless of background, deserve recognition.

The PSSRP should use a combination of metrics to measure student success.

  • Public data (IPEDS, College Scorecard): Initial eligibility can be determined using existing data on enrollment, net price, graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and student demographics.
  • Post-college earnings: Institutions ensuring a strong return on investment for students should be recognized through College Scorecard data.
  • Future considerations: As data improves, the PSSRP could incorporate the Postsecondary Value Commission’s Economic Value Index (EVI) to measure economic mobility for diverse student groups.

Beyond data, the PSSRP should consider recognizing strong institutional practices such as:

  • Equitable admissions policies: Institutions that avoid practices favoring legacy admissions or early decision deadlines that disadvantage low-income students should be commended.
  • Financial aid prioritization: Institutions directing resources towards meeting the full need of Pell Grant recipients demonstrate a commitment to affordability.
  • Positive student experience: Institutions fostering a sense of belonging and using data to identify and address student success barriers should be recognized.
  • Evidence-based decision-making: Institutions employing various research methodologies, including RCTs and qualitative studies, to evaluate student success initiatives should be encouraged.

Read the full letter.