Publications & Research

Golden Opportunities: Measuring Return on Investment in California Higher Education for Low- and Moderate-Income Learners

At College Futures Foundation, we believe that aligning postsecondary education for economic mobility is an important piece of the puzzle if we want a robust, inclusive economy in California. We also believe that when learners spend their time and money on a postsecondary education, they should see a return on investment (ROI). Yet, ROI measures have rarely been available as would-be students and their families weigh the cost and consider the value of a college degree.

In our ongoing efforts to respond to the crisis of value in postsecondary education, College Futures commissioned the HEA Group to produce a report featuring a first-of-its-kind analysis of California higher education institutions’ ROI with a specific focus on low- and moderate-income learners in the state. Our upcoming report, Golden Opportunities: Measuring ROI in CA Higher Education for Low- and Moderate-Income Learners, examines how long it takes learners and families in the low- to moderate-income category to recoup their educational costs after attending an institution of higher education in California. Lead author and researcher, Michael Itzkowitz of the HEA Group, applied a learner-centered approach to compare out-of-pocket costs for a degree with the earnings outcomes of low- and moderate-income undergraduate learners at postsecondary institutions across California that enroll nearly two million certificate- and degree-seeking learners.

We hosted the Golden Opportunities live webinar on Thursday, May 9, from 11am-12pm PST, where we shared findings from the report and discussed whether California colleges are truly delivering on their promise for learners from low- and moderate-income backgrounds.

Download the Report Here

Download the Price-to-Earnings Premiums Data Used for the ROI Report
(If you have any questions regarding this data, please contact Michael Itzkowitz of the HEA Group.)

Watch the Webinar Recording