Understanding College Value is critical for students, institutions, employers and policymakers.

A large number of graduates are not satisfied with their college experience, according to recent studies. This phenomenon leaves current and prospective students searching for institutions and programs that are “worth it” – where they walk away with good jobs, good salaries and a positive sense of well-being and happiness.

For policymakers, understanding and promoting College Value is imperative for equipping citizens with valuable job skills and securing the economic future of their states. For employers, reinforcing College Value means ensuring the job-readiness of recent graduates. And for institutions under mounting pressure to improve student outcomes, high College Value could lead to higher enrollment numbers and increased funding.

USA Funds seeks to advance the debate on College Value by providing grants to projects across five focus areas – return on investment, well-being, supply/demand analysis, quality assurance and performance-based funding – that measure the value of postsecondary education and training programs in a number of innovative and important ways:

  • Based on both quantitative and qualitative measures;
  • At the degree or program level rather than the institutional level;
  • For baccalaureate and sub-baccalaureate programs;
  • With results for all types of students and alumni.

A project unlike any other, USA Funds is aligning the interests of disparate organizations to develop multiple models aimed at helping students and their families, policymakers, and postsecondary institutions make more-informed decisions about the training and skills that will provide the greatest value to students and their communities.


College Value is best determined using state-level, program-specific and career-based metrics. Learn more about USA Funds’ national work supporting the future of higher education through grants aimed at return on investment, well-being, supply/demand, quality assurance and performance-based funding.