This article from today’s Inside Higher Education informs us of a new study that measures higher education degree “productivity.” But what, a curious reader might inquire, is meant by “productivity”?
Using publicly available data (in hopes of making it easy for policy makers to replicate), the report starts with the total funding for each state’s public colleges, combining state and local appropriations and tuition and fee revenues, which account for the vast majority of operating funds for state institutions over all. The analysis then weights the numbers of degrees and certificates that a state’s colleges award (by level) by the median earnings associated with them in the state’s employment market. Higher degree levels are weighted more heavily, as are credentials and science and technology fields.
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