TABLE 4-1 Indicators Suggested for Higher Education


•   Graduation and retention rates, disaggregated to capture community college students and other nontraditional students, and perhaps also financial aid status, family income, and need for remediation at the time of matriculation

•   Measure of the highest level of education attained by students 10 years after they first enrolled in a postsecondary institution

•   Transfer rates—students who successfully transfer from a community college to a 4-year institution or proportion of students who graduate or transfer within 4 to 6 years of normal completion time

•   Educational progress rates, such as: measure of proportion of students college-ready at matriculation; percentage of students who persist through graduation; completion rates for remedial coursework and progression to college-level coursework; cumulative credits earned; or an indicator tracking students K-highest level of schooling in which they enroll

•   Preparation for careers and job placement, using employment rates and salaries at 1 and 5 years postgraduation

•   Research and development activity, using, e.g., spending on research and development, number of patents secured, or income earned through licenses; indicator for humanities and social sciences also needed


•   Job placement and earnings

•   Learning outcomes, such as: cognitive skills or functioning, occupational competence and preparedness; civic awareness and responsibility, global and intercultural competence, moral reasoning


•   Navigational capital or understanding of college access and success process

•   Participation in different kinds of colleges and programs, including distribution of students by key demographic characteristics (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, family income, disability status, and age) across different types of postsecondary institutions and higher education outcomes

•   Net cost and affordability for families—could include net cost of tuition and fees, minus grants, disaggregated by family income, or average student’s loan burden relative to starting salary

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