In a majority of states, funding for public postsecondary institutions is partially based on performance or outcomes. CLASP suggests states need to build robust “equity measures” into their funding formulas. Research implies that using outcomes-based funding without equity measures disincentivizes colleges from helping low-income, underprepared, and/or adult students, as well as students of color, enter and complete programs.
What are equity measures? These measures reduce disincentives to serving low-income, underprepared, and/or adult students as well as students of color. They can also give open-access or other non-selective institutions the resources needed to best serve these students, who may require more costly support to move toward completion. Examples of equity measures include the number of Pell recipients who attain credentials, the number of students who progress through developmental education and earn their first credits, or a bonus on the graduation measure for students of color. A new report from CLASP provides a detailed classification system for existing state equity measures as well as recommendations for how they could be improved.