New Ways to Demonstrate Student ROI

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Nick Ducoff, author and CEO at Edmit, joined the podcast to talk about public distrust in higher ed’s value and all the new ways higher ed is working to demonstrate student ROI.

Seventy two percent of private nonprofit foryour institutions are both high price and high quality, and only twelve percent orhigh price and low quality. The problem is that while vast majority of collegesare high price and high quality, student perception is different. You're listening toenrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professional development podcast for higher educationleaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking forfresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to theright place. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to enrollment growth university,a proud member of the connect ETU podcast network. I'm Eric Olsen withHelix Education and we're here today with Nick Dukoff, author of better off aftercollege, a guide to paying for college with more aid and less dead andCEO at admit. Nick, welcome to...

...the show. Thank you so muchfor having me. Really excited to talk with you today about new ways higherat is working to demonstrate students are OI. Before we dig in, can yougive the listeners a little bit of background on admit? Sure admit helpshigh school students and their families, makes Smarter College and career decisions. PerfectElevator pitch and great background for what we're going to dig into today, becausejust get us cut up kind of a speed with where we are right now. Can you remind us where the public is right now in regards to theirtrust in colleges return on investment? Consumer sentiment has become so negative that overhalf of college students agree with the statement that, quote, my institution onlycares about the money it can get from me and quote. That's according toa recent survey by Third Way of think tank, and is really incredible tothink about. Eighty percent of students say they're concerned about getting any type ofjob when they graduate, according to a different study from Third Way. Andwhen you think about that, why would...

...students pay a high price for collegeif they don't think they'll get a job at all after graduating? And accordingto another study from ECMC, just one fourth of students believe a four yeardegree is the only route to a good job. One of my founder peers, Austin all read, the founder of voting boot camp, lamb to school, has summed it up, I think, rather nicely. He says there area lot of schools that shouldn't exist and their whole bunch of schools thatshould. The problem is the average seventeen year old has no idea which iswhich and there's nothing out there to help them. Until you start to alignand sins financially in some way, will continue to have crazy surplus and crazyshortages, and I think that's really a student. So we're aware there isthis massive public facing problem here. Let's talk about some of those potential solutions, both internally that institutions are working on, as well as federally. Can youclarify the primary goals behind a gainful employment rule and what institutions might bemost impacted either way by the Biden Administration?...

We reinstating this? Sure so?The Department of Education under President Obama established the gainful employment regulation to ensurethat programs specifically at for profit schools didn't result in excessive debt relative to agraduates income. And that Third Way Study I recently cited looked at price toquality ratios of colleges and found that seventy two percent of private, nonprofit foryour institutions are both high price and high quality and only twelve percent or highprice and low quality. The problem is that, while a vast majority ofcolleges are high price and high quality, student perception is different. Compare that, though, that roughly four out of five for profit. For your colleges, almost eighty percent are high price and low quality, compared to just twelvepercent of nonprofits. And so the gainful employment regulation was really specifically focused onthat cohort of colleges that really hasn't driven...

...positive outcomes for students that have attended. And what's the hope behind not just providing transparency there, but help usunderstand the logistics and mechanics of what a gainful employment rule might do? Yeah, well, so it's a stick. Schools that don't meet the Game FulEmployment Rule Aren't eligible for title for federal funding. So you know, theyobviously want to be able to receive federal their student for their students, federalfinancial aid and student loans, and so you know, it's really a wayto keep schools honest and working towards providing positive outcomes for graduates. Let's talkabout a non stick incentive, this idea that the democratization of education solves allthings. Many of us in Higher Ed believe that to some degree. Let'stalk about the college score card. Has the increased transparency of college outcomes seemedto impact student choice yet? So I would say the biggest success of thecollege score card has been what it's done...

...to enable the private sector to buildon the data and provide more tools and actionable guidance for students. You know, the College score card website itself, maintained by the Department of Education,I think, has received, you know, somewhat underwhelming traffic. But then again, you know, how many federal websites do you frequently visit on theInternet? Right? So, you know, I wouldn't necessarily hold that against them. I think they've done tremendous work at compiling an unbelievably rich and valuabledata set that, you know, has led to academic research, you know, literature in the field and saw for products like Edmont. So we havethe Fed thinking about the levers that are within their control to influence student behavior, citizen behavior. Let's talk about inside of our campuses from a messaging standfillpoint, from a persuasion standpoint, as colleges work to find new ways totell their value story in a way that...

...sticks. help us understand some ofthese value acronyms that many of us are starting to see and how they're calculated. Yeah, so there's so many different ways to calculate Roi and I recentlyspoke to the Marketing Department of a large financial institution. There was maybe,you know, fifty marketers in the audience and I asked them if they knewwhat the acronym ro I stood for us. To just raise your hand and I'dsay, you know, about half raise their hands. So you're talkingabout folks responsible for messaging to the consumer at a financial institution and only halfof them know what are alive is. And you know, there's no judge. I'm not passing any judgment on that. It's just the fact is there's alot of jargon, you know, when you're talking about measuring financial returns, and it's complicated. But there are a number of approaches out there knowthat I think are really helpful and, you know, moving towards hopefully,a roi calculation that can become universal.

I think we're still bit of waysoff from that, but the center on Education and workforce at Georgetown University andpay scale both have our awe approaches that allow future returns to be compared toan upfront investment. Today and the Brookings Institute takes a different approach, asyou mentioned. It analyzes the college's value added, which is a difference betweenactual earnings outcomes and the outcomes one would expect given a student's characteristics and comparablecolleges. The fourth approach I've looked at his third ways pep, or price, the earnings premium, and that's used to determine the number of years ittakes to pay off the cost of earning the degree. You say something interestingthere, and so I'll maybe give you a double barreled question. One,do you find any of these metrics more compelling if we're looking for that universalmetric? Or, to your point, is it only helpful if it becomesa universal metric and one that all of...

...the colleges that a students considering areutilizing so I can compare and contrast with them? You know, I thinkthere's there's pros and cons to each of these different approaches. For example,Georgetown's approach. You know, they humbly call their effort to first try andtheir calculations are quite sophisticated and well considered. But because of the sophistication. Aseventeen year old might have difficulty understanding it. And they actually produce thedata with multiple time periods for that net present value calculation. And students arealready suffering from choice overload, so having to evaluate and choose between multiple inPV time periods, you can imagine how that could become overwhelming. Nick,do you believe college is worth it? Yes, there's so many different waysto demonstrate that. You know, the most, I think, prevalent thatpeople cite is that college graduates tend to earn on average about a million dollarsmore in lifetime earnings than their non college...

...graduate peers. And, as theThird Way Research Indicates, most nonprofit higher education institutions are high quality. Theproblem is that they're also high price. The New York Times reporter run LEABER, who I consider a friend, artfully details how things got this way.Is New book the Price You pay for college? He also notes that thereturn on investment of college in the form of higher wages, it's fourteen percentannually, or twice the typical stock market return. So if you told me, hey, you can do this thing and you're going to get double thereturn of the stock market. You know that's hard to be. That said, you know, we all know that too many students unfortunately start with thebest of intentions and for any variety of reasons, don't graduate and have,you know, some debt and no degree. And it's it's those students in particularthat that my heart really goes out for, because they don't get theV A fit of the earnings premium, but they still have the saddling ofstudent dead. So this is this is...

...a great summation of kind of,I think, where we are in this argument that Nick just gave us awonderful quantitative, factual understanding in the value of college, and yet many don'tfeel that it's true. Nick. How do we translate those Quantitative Facts AboutCollege Roy into public belief and trust in its value? Yeah, so Ithink to come up with really simple and easy to understand measures that seventeen yearolds and their parents can readily understand. And so, for example, weuse stop like colors, you know, red, bad, green good,and we and we reinforce those rankings with a grade system. You know,see bad a good. So when you put those together, red, sea, bad, green a good, you know, it's probably overly simplistic,but users get it and, you know, I think as long as folks aremaking directionally correct choices, they'll be better off. And that's ultimately,you know, the intention behind what we...

...do. It admit, and Ithink what most of these, if not all of these folks that are puttingtogether these are calculations, are trying to achieve as well. It's complicated,though, right. So, for example, some of these are calculations don't takerelative income into account, only cost. So a concern about those approaches isthat they could lead to undermatching because it makes inexpensive programs that can bepaid off relatively quickly look really, really good. However, it hides thefact that they may have considerably lower career earnings potential than other colleges that maybe slightly more expensive. So I don't know that there's a silver bullet.I think if there was one, you know, one of these smart folks, whether it Georgetown, Brookings, Third Way, you know, etc.Would have found it, you know, but I think that the great newsis we're all starting to collaborate a little bit. You're starting to see,you know, more literature out there around this topic and conversation, thinks thepeople like you who've invited me to join you today, and so I thinkthat's promising and you know, ultimately will...

...find something that is compelling and couldyou work towards becoming a universal standard. Super Helpful, super hopeful. Nick, can you leave us with any next steps? Advice institutions who are hearingthis, who are saying yes, I believe it, I agree. Wewant to tell the story better on our website when people look at our tuitionpage. How do we help them understand the real, real financial story hereand in a way that really really highlights the value that we're providing? Whereshould they start first? Well, I'll just note two colleges that I oftensay. One is Gross City College in Pennsylvania and I appreciate that they citescripture proverbs one a while sharing their commitment to dealing truthfully in their pricing,avoiding what they call the problematic practice of unfunded tuition discounting, and they furtherclaim to set their tuition it would it actually cost educate a student? Youknow I have an independently validated that, but I think that's a pre boldstatement to say we are charging you our...

...cost and then you have someone likethe Paul University in Indiana. They make a different promise to students. Theirgold commitment assures alumni that there to paw and that's to Paul with a wdegree maintains its value, and that's a bold commitment as well. They're saying, Hey, if you graduate from here, we're going to make sure that thatthis was worth it, and that's the question that we hear. That'show how students and parents that we talk to frame it. They say,is this going to be worth it? And that's really the framing that Ithink colleges should consider because, as the third way research shows, seventy twopercent of nonprofits are high quality. They also happen to be high cost,and so you need to be able to really distinguish the value that is itworth it question, because most colleges just really can't produce pricing and those thathave tried with tuition resets have found challenges because it becomes a slippery slope.So the best way to approach it,...

I think, is by really demonstratingthe value the investment and how it pays off for students, even if itcosts quote a lot, and you know Fiftyzero, hundred thousand, hundred,fifty thousand, turn thousand. That's all a lot right, no matter howyou cut it. Nick, thanks so much for your time today. What'sthe best place for listeners to connect with you or your team if they haveany follow up questions? So you can find me on twitter at Nick Dukoff. That's in IC K DOUCO FF, and you can check out admit ateedmt admit dot me. Awesome. Thanks so much for joining us today,Nick. Thanks for having me or talk to you soon. Attracting today's newpost traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wideapproach to enrollment growth is uniquely helping colleges and universities thrive in this neweducation landscape, and Helix has just published the second edition of their enrollment growthplaybook with fifty percent brand new content on...

...how institutions can solve today's most pressingenrollment growth challenges. Download it today for free at Helix Educationcom. Playbook.You've been listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education. To ensure that younever miss an episode, subscribe to the show in Itunes. Or your favoritepodcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (231)