Trey Miller

Photo of Trey Miller
Economist; Faculty Affiliate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in economics, Stanford University; B.A. in economics, University of Texas


Trey Miller is an economist at the RAND Corporation. His research focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating policies and practices to improve student access and success in higher education while also reducing the cost of higher education to students and taxpayers. Dr. Miller has lead and co-lead quantitative and mixed methods research projects with multi-disciplinary research teams and a combined budget of over $2.9M for clients including the Institute of Education Sciences, the Lumina Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Houston Endowment, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Much of his work has been in the state of Texas, where he has worked with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to study the state's community college system, developmental education program, and a statewide college information and awareness program called the Texas GO Center Project. He is currently leading the IES-funded THECB-RAND Research Partnership, which is focused on using THECB's administrative data to develop preliminary assessments of innovative models for postsecondary developmental education that have been implemented by institutions across Texas, and working with institutions to develop a statewide RCT to rigorously assess the efficacy of those models that appear promising. He recently completed a project for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that used administrative databases from Texas to develop quantitative performance metrics for higher education institutions and is currently working with THECB on a grant from the Lumina Foundation to develop new higher education funding models to incentivize innovation and scale cost-effective delivery models.

Recent Projects

  • Measuring Value Added in Higher Education
  • THECB - RAND Research Partnership
  • Evaluation and Implementation Support for Integrating Technology into Higher Education
  • Developing Innovative Models for Higher Education Finance
  • Efficacy and Efficiency of Educational Benefits Programs for Servicemembers

Selected Publications

Robert Bozick and Trey Miller, "Undocumented Mexican Immigrants in Higher Education: A Closer Look at the Relationship Between State Tuition Policies and College Enrollment," International Migration Review (forthcoming)

Charles Goldman, Lindsay Butterfield, Diana Lavery, Trey Miller, Lindsay Daugherty, Trinidad Beleche, and Bing Han, Using workforce information for degree program planning in Texas, RAND (RR-1011-CFAT), 2015

Daugherty, Lindsay.; Goldman, Charles A.,; Butterfield, Lindsay.; Miller, Trey, Assessing the potential to expand community college baccalaureate programs in Texas, RAND (RR-745-CFAT), 2014

Martorell, Francisco.; Miller, Trey.; Daugherty, Lindsay.; Borgschulte, Mark., Effects of military service on earnings and education revisited: variation by service duration, occupation, and civilian unemployment, RAND (RR-342-OSD), 2014

Robert Bozick and Trey Miller, "In-State College Tuition Policies for Undocumented Immigrants: Implications for High School Enrollment Among Non-Citizen Mexican Youth," Population Research and Policy Review, 33(1), 2014

Jesse Cunha and Trey Miller, "Measuring Value-Added in Higher Education: Possibilities and Limitations in the Use of Administrative Data," Economics of Education Review, 42(3), 2014

Kane, Thomas J.; McCaffrey, Daniel F.; Miller, Trey.; Staiger, Douglas O., Have we identified effective teachers?: Validating measures of effective teaching using random assignment, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2013

Norman Nie, Trey Miller, Saar Golde, Dan Butler, Ken Winneg, "The World Wide Web and the U.S. Political News Market," American Journal of Political Science, 54(2), 2010

Honors & Awards

  • RAND Bronze Medal Award for Initiating a Research Partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, RAND
  • RAND Idea Showcase Winner for Developing a College Matching Tool, RAND


  • College student discussing assignment with tutor

    The Shared Savings Model: An Innovative Way to Attack Rapidly Rising College Costs

    The challenge facing policymakers is how to lessen the college cost pressure felt by families while incentivizing institutions to innovate to reduce cost and improve quality. What if cost savings from increased productivity were quantified and a portion returned to institutions?

    Oct 22, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • Woman using a laptop at her kitchen table

    Exploring New Approaches to Higher Education: The Expansion of Competency-Based Programs

    Policymakers and educators must determine if the risks of maintaining the status quo outweigh the potential benefits of competency-based programs, especially for those students who are ill-served by the traditional higher education model.

    Sep 29, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • A college student reviewing her notes

    America's College Promise: Meeting the Higher Education Challenge

    President Obama's proposal to cover the costs of two years of community college offers hope to many American students, but two key challenges should be addressed: meeting the needs of underprepared students and devising a system to smooth the transfer of credits from one institution to another.

    Jan 19, 2015 The RAND Blog

  • U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets students at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) campus at Powai in Mumbai

    Four Approaches to Improve Higher Education in India Through Policies

    In India, university enrolment has grown from 10 to 23 million from 2000 to 2013, and so has interest in improving access and quality. A review of research on higher-education policies on affirmative action, financial aid, private education, and vocational education identifies gaps in research on improving access and quality.

    Jun 12, 2014 EduTech Magazine