Defining Value

Defining Value

Measuring the returns students and society receive from investing in education after high school starts with being clear about what those returns are and who receives them.



The commission examined a wide range of returns – individual and societal, economic and non-economic, easier to measure and harder to measure – and proposes a value definition rooted in commitments to equity, evidence, and changes in policy and practice.

Value Definition

Students experience postsecondary value when provided equitable access and support to complete quality, affordable credentials that offer economic mobility and prepare them to advance racial and economic justice in our society.

Value means different things to different people. But we should all be able to agree that a student – no matter who they are or where they come from – gets an education that has value when they receive a high quality, affordable credential that puts them on the path to a better living and a better life that includes giving back to their communities and working for a more equitable and just society.

Nichole Francis Reynolds, Postsecondary Value Commission Member

Learn more about the value definition and core principles in the commission’s final report.

Read the Reports