This week’s episode explores what’s driving the trend and whether an overdependence on economic outcomes can lead to unintended consequences.

As recently as a decade ago, the concept of “value” rarely found its way into discussions about federal and state policymaking about higher education. Now it’s unusual to hear a meaningful conversation that doesn’t raise the issue.

This week’s episode of The Key, the second in a three-part series on the value of higher education, examines how politicians and policy makers are responding to growing public doubt about the value of colleges and credentials by defining and trying to measure whether individual institutions and academic programs are benefiting consumers. 

Guests include Clare McCann, who until last month was a key member of the Biden administration’s higher education policy team, and is now higher education fellow at Arnold Ventures; Will Doyle, a professor of higher education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, who studies the government’s role in higher education; and Ernest Ezeugo, a federal policy strategy officer at Lumina Foundation who previously worked at Young Invincibles and the State Higher Education Executive Officers association.

They discuss how the concept of value is factoring into state and federal policy, what’s driving that trend, and whether an overdependence on economic outcomes can lead to unintended consequences.

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Editor Doug Lederman

This episode was made possible by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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