Shifting the Conversation From Cost to Value: Third Way’s Analysis of Mobility for Public University Students

The centrist think tank Third Way released a report in August that uses the first year of data from the U.S. Department of Education’s new College Scorecard to understand how well four-year public colleges and universities serve low-income students. In particular, What Free Won’t Fix: Too Many Public Colleges are Dropout Factories tried to quantify how effectively those institutions are  improving the overall economic circumstances of their students, and it came up with a composite score that Third Way calls the “mobility metric.” This analysis was a follow-up to a similar look at four-year private colleges released last spring.

As one of the report’s authors, Tamara Hiler, senior policy advisor for education at Third Way, points out below, the College Scorecard may be frustratingly incomplete in places but its data provides new opportunities for insight that never existed before.

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