BlogKevin King

Making Universities Earn Their Funding

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on how some states are moving to fund universities based off of their performance.

Taking a page from cash-strapped parents, states are increasingly telling their public universities to prove they’re worth the investment.

The question is, why has this idea taken so long? As we reported here, university spending is out of hand leading to mounting piles of student loan debt that most people are unable to handle financially upon graduation. So why have universities been continually funded to higher and higher degrees (pun intended), with no tie to their performance. The WSJ adds:

Historically, states have doled out funds based on enrollment figures, or reissued dollars just by looking at the prior year’s allotment—which some call the inertia model. Now, the focus is on getting students to graduate and land jobs, not just getting them into school.

Metrics of performance should be very straight forward. How many of your graduates find full-time employment and what is their income? This data would allow states to fund the schools based on how well they are preparing the graduates. It would also allow potential students to evaluate the return on investment. Which degree, from which university, will produce the best outcome for the student. Otherwise, students can pursue a gender studies degree at their own prerogative.

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