When it comes to improving the outcomes of public higher education, do states know where they are trying to go and have they a plan for how and when they will get there? State policymakers—and the public—want to know what benefits their educational investment is yielding: Are more students earning postsecondary credentials that allow them to support themselves and their families and contribute to economic growth?
By the Numbers addresses an important state-level approach to assessing—and increasing—the value of public higher education: setting and publicizing clear, numerical goals for expanding student access and success. The report is based on JFF’s 50-state survey of state higher education plans, conducted in 2005 to determine which states have set numerical targets for enrollment and completion and how they set, measure, and publicize these goals to institutions, the public, and policymakers. By the Numbers was prepared for Double the Numbers, JFF’s national initiative to advance public policies that can significantly increase the number of young people who make it to and through college.