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This month’s episode of The Key podcast explores a vexing question: How might policy makers and college leaders go about showing that getting a postsecondary education pays off for later in life?

The episode features a conversation with Zakiya Smith Ellis, a principal at the education policy consulting firm Education Counsel and former senior Obama education aide and secretary of education in New Jersey.

Ellis shares her thoughts on how we’ve gotten to the point where we are assessing college value primarily by looking at individuals’ financial outcomes, whether we’re asking the right questions about the benefits of college-going and what institutional leaders should be doing to make sure their academic programs are serving students well.

Click here to listen to this week’s episode, and find out more about The Key here.