INDIANA (WTHI) – On Wednesday the Indiana College Value Index was unveiled.
The index is a statewide and campus-by-campus measure of the benefits and outcomes of post-secondary education.
“We are the first state to measure college value in a way that goes beyond the numbers to show not just how well our campuses are doing but also how they can do better,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said. “The Indiana College Value Index does this by bringing together both quantitative and qualitative information, providing a more complete view of higher education performance and value.”
The Indiana College Value Index provides college value profiles for all Indiana public college campuses, focusing on three areas aligned to the state’s strategic plan for higher education, called Reaching Higher, Delivering Value: Completion, Competency and Career. The index combines quantitative data from the Commission’s College Completion Report and Return on Investment Report with qualitative information from the Gallup-Indiana Alumni Survey as well as examples provided by the colleges.
• Indiana outperforms and outpaces the nation on key measures of college value. Indiana college graduates report higher levels of well-being compared to national averages in all surveyed categories. Indiana outperforms the national average for on-time completion by over two percentage points as well as for extended (six-year) completion by nearly five percentage points. Finally, Indiana college students are less likely to take out student loans than their peers (61 percent in Indiana compared to 69 percent nationally).
• College pays financially and increases overall well-being. Within five years, graduates from over 85 percent of degree programs typically earn salaries that exceed the state median ($32,500). Furthermore, more than half of Indiana college graduates indicate they are “thriving” in four out of five measures of well-being: purpose, community, financial and social. (Physical well-being tested the lowest, with over half of graduates indicating they were “struggling.”)
• Student choices and engagement matter more than where they attend college. Regardless of where students go to college, the data show that short-term and long-term satisfaction and return on investment are more closely tied to what students choose to study, course load, and use of campus resources.
• Students who receive support on campus are almost twice as likely to say strongly agree that their higher education was worth the cost—even if they have student loan debt. This is a clear area for potential improvement on Indiana campuses. Less than half of Indiana graduates report having support outside the classroom to graduate or to find an internship or job. Only 22 percent report having a professor or mentor who cared about them, made them excited about learning, and encouraged them to pursue their goals.
For more information, check out this link.