Employing Postsecondary Data for Effective State Finance Policymaking
Outcomes-based higher education funding structures have gained popularity in recent years as a means for achieving the goal of linking public investment in our colleges and universities to the social and economic benefits that states reap with an educated citizenry. The outcomes-based models represent an evolution of performance-based funding models with a more exclusive focus on student progression and completion and financial alignment to state attainment needs. Even states that choose not to implement outcomes-based funding stand to benefit from a stronger understanding of data systems and the ways that states can use data to inform decision making more broadly. Compiling information from 31 states, this report evaluates the measures and metrics commonly used in outcomes-based funding systems, identifies a core set of measures and metrics that can help state leaders assess the performance of their higher education system, evaluates data availability and catalogues useful data sources.