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AV Launches a New State Higher Education Policy Research Agenda

The effort will focus on ways to improve the return on investment for students and taxpayers.

Following a year of groundbreaking progress at the federal level to improve value and protect students and taxpayers in higher education, Arnold Ventures is launching a new effort to study state-level higher education policies that can improve the return on investment (ROI) for students and taxpayers. In a recently released research agenda, Arnold Ventures lays out two key areas of interest in state-level policymaking: 

    1. Understanding how outcomes-based funding can be used to drive return on investment
    2. Exploratory policy research, development, and testing to understand and build state- and system- level policies to increase return on investment

    As more states begin to enact outcome-based formulas and attach more funding to increase incentives, it is increasingly important to determine whether these new models have a positive impact on student outcomes and which elements of OBF policy designs are most effective in increasing ROI

    At the same time, there is a burgeoning field of state-level and system-level quality assurance policies that has yet to be studied. Little is known about what states and systems are doing now to increase return on investment, the opportunities that exist, and how best to drive improvements in outcomes for students and taxpayers. This presents an moment to identify, develop, and test quality assurance policies, and to identify and test effective practice policies that accelerate the adoption of evidence-based practices. 

    Learn more about AV’s state-level higher education research agenda here.