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 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

New to RAND Education and Labor? Learn more about our work.

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:

  • partner with educators and policy makers
  • produce rigorous studies of cause and effect
  • understand implementation and what works

College Readiness and Access

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.

Paying for Higher Education

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.

Strategic Planning

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.

STEM and Career Technical Education

RAND Education and Labor researchers are assessing workforce education programs, including analyses of the STEM pipeline.

College Curriculum Innovation

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.

Student Health and Safety

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.

Work with Us

RAND experts help decisionmakers at the federal, state, and institutional levels bring research evidence to bear on their work, with the ultimate goal of supporting students to complete valuable degrees.

Get in touch with us to discuss research opportunities.

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    Workforce Development

    Technology, globalization, and demographic changes have altered what employers need from workers and what workers can expect from employers. RAND is working with education and training stakeholders to take a systems-levels approach to examining education, workforce development, and employment.