Postsecondary Success | A progress update on postsecondary value


The leaves have barely started to turn (at least in Seattle), but a busy fall is already underway, especially in the policy world. Congress has returned to work on a host of major issues affecting students and the institutions that serve them, and state legislatures are already gearing up for their next sessions.

One thing is both clear and encouraging. Postsecondary value – equitable value – is gaining traction on the policy agenda, with movement in areas consistent with our policy priorities and the action agenda issued by the Postsecondary Value Commission.

In the area of finance, Congress is currently considering major investments  in financial aid for students from low-income backgrounds and in community colleges and minority-serving institutions, as well as a partnership with states to expand and advance evidence-backed innovations for student success.

There is also progress to report when it comes to better data about student outcomes. Bipartisan support is growing for the creation of a data system that will reflect progress and success for all students and all institutions. And conversations are underway about how to incorporate stronger value metrics in existing reporting mechanisms such as the College Scorecard.

States are taking action to build stronger pathways to credentials and careers for their students, including Ohio and Florida. And we look forward to engaging with more states about pathways that that yield economic and non-economic benefits for students and their communities.

Keep reading for more about our policy priorities – where we focus and why – and what our partners are doing to help advance our shared goal of eliminating race, ethnicity, and income as predictors of student success. That goal is and will continue to be our “north star” in advocating for student-centered policy change. We hope that you will lend your voices in support of that goal in the weeks and months ahead.


Policy Priorities

We work with policymakers at the federal level and in select states (California, Florida, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) on three key priorities to increase student success, focusing on students of color and students from low-income backgrounds:

  • Finance. Our efforts in this area focus on increasing investments in institutional and student aid and developing new funding models that promote increased access and success and equitable value for today’s college students – especially Black, Latino, and Indigenous students and students from low-income backgrounds.
  • Pathways. Evidence shows that redesigning policies and practices in areas such as developmental education, student advising, and credit transfer results in better and more equitable student outcomes, so our work in this area emphasizes scale – supporting the expansion of these innovations at the state level.
  • Data. Improving the collection, reporting, and use of information about student outcomes is essential for improving those outcomes, which is why we advocate for changes in existing federal and state data systems to reflect the path for all students at all institutions.

Stay tuned for more on these priorities in the coming months!

From Our Partners

Washington Monthly Updates College Rankings and Calls for Better Value Data

In its latest College Guide and Rankings, Washington Monthly introduced a new metric designed to gauge how colleges and universities deliver value to their students by looking at student earnings three years after graduation. The magazine’s editors also called on federal policymakers to make improvements in the quality of data available to better answer questions about value and return on investment.

NEW from Excelencia – Cultivating Confianza

Excelencia in Education, one of the nation’s leading organizations for accelerating Latino student success, is out with a new statement outlining its progress over nearly two decades and its priorities for the decade ahead. Cultivating Confianza underscores Excelencia’s commitment to helping increase Latino student completion by 6.2 million students by 2030 through a combination of changes in institutional practices and public policy.