Employing Postsecondary Data For Effective State Finance PolicymakingPublished Mar 2016
Each year, more states are adopting policies to incent and support improvements in postsecondary student success and equitable outcomes through the effective use of quality data. Particularly as the target dates for national higher education attainment goals grow nearer, state economies are in need of more college-educated workers, and budgets continue to be severely constrained, many state leaders are recognizing the need to improve the productivity, completion efficiency and equity of their higher education systems. Moreover, in an era of increasing college costs, states have an obligation to provide demonstrable value to both the students and the taxpayers who invest large sums in higher education each year. The stakes are simply too high—for students, families, taxpayers and legislatures—for states to continue business as usual. Rather, they must develop data-driven policies for effectively funding and operating their higher education systems, in particular by shifting the focus from enrollment counts to quality and to equitable educational outcomes.