Postsecondary Education Research
Higher education continues to evolve in ways that expand access for new student populations. At the same time, many students arrive unprepared for college-level work and often leave saddled with debt. Decisionmakers are looking for policy solutions that address student needs and funding challenges—and help ensure graduates are properly trained for the 21st-century workforce.
What We Do
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RAND Education and Labor has been grappling with postsecondary education issues for over four decades, and continues to be at the forefront of research to find solutions to challenges such as:
- access and success inequities
- higher education funding
- barriers to innovation
Where We Focus
With a particular focus on new and underserved populations, RAND experts look for ways to support the substantial number of students who are inadequately prepared to succeed in postsecondary education programs.
Rising college costs and the resulting long-term increase in student debt is one of the biggest issues weighing on families today — and one of the greatest challenges for policymakers.
RAND helps higher education systems plan for current and future needs. Research focus areas include performance measurement, improving coordination between education institutions and employers, and allocating resources.
RAND Education and Labor researchers are assessing workforce education programs, including analyses of the STEM pipeline.
Higher education institutions are exploring new ways to help students succeed. RAND investigates many of these novel approaches, including competency-based education, the use of technology, and project-based learning.
In order for students to thrive, learning environments must be safe and help support physical and mental well-being. RAND's work includes addressing sexual harassment and assault on college campuses.