Designing Program-Level Metrics for Federal Higher Education Accountability

Fact Sheet

Designing Program-Level Metrics for Federal Higher Education Accountability

Abstract

Evidence shows that what students study matters as much as, if not more than, where they study. Program-level measures can provide important data on student outcomes, which will allow policymakers to hold institutions and programs that receive federal funding accountable. 

This fact sheet highlights some of the most frequently discussed measures that might be used for program-level accountability, such as earnings and student loan outcomes. We emphasize key policy considerations for each proposed measure, as well as information on how these data are currently reported.

To build program-level accountability measures, we recommend setting a minimum program size, pooling two years of data, and combining programs (based on CIP code). More details are available in the full report.

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