A student meets this threshold if they earn at least as much as a high school graduate plus enough to recoup their total net price within ten years.
Education after high school has many returns – for students, their families, and their communities. So how do we capture those returns in a way that makes information useful and points to where action is needed to make value more equitable?
The commission has developed an approach for measuring how and how much students are better off because of their education.
A student meets this threshold if they reach at least the median earnings in their field of study, which accounts for expected variation in pay across fields.
Informed by The University of Texas System’s research on in-field pay inequities, this threshold measures whether students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and women meet the median earnings of their more advantaged peers (White students, high-income students, or men).
Informed by Opportunity Insights’ measurement of economic mobility across institutions, this threshold measures whether students earn enough to enter the fourth (upper middle) income quintile regardless of field of study.
While sufficient earnings can create a stable life, wealth is key to building the type of security needed to withstand life’s financial shocks, so this threshold measures whether students reach median levels of wealth.
Mirroring the earnings parity threshold, this threshold measures whether students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and women reach the level of wealth attained by their more privileged White, high-income, or male peers.
There are a number of ways to measure value, but it really comes down to how students and society are better off because of their investment in education after high school.Mamie Voight, Managing Partner, Postsecondary Value Commission
Because value doesn’t stop at economic returns for students, the commission also consulted with leading experts on ways to measure other aspects of value such as student learning, wellbeing, and the public benefits of educational investment.
Learn more about measuring value in the commission’s final report and research reports.Read the Reports