“These implications for the importance of relevance are powerful as they demonstrate another dimension of value that higher education provides to individuals, communities and our nation,” according to the report. “This is vital during a time when many in higher education are challenged to demonstrate their value in ways that resonate with all stakeholders.”

3. Relevance is a far more powerful predictor of consumer ratings of educational quality and cost value than other important demographic characteristics. This includes gender, race/ethnicity, age, income, and type of postsecondary education experience (courses but no degree, or two-year, four-year, post-graduate, or professional degrees).

4. Relevance explains two and three times more variance in consumer ratings of quality and value, respectively, than public data widely used to create college and university rankings. Relevance scores are more powerful predictors of consumer satisfaction than average SAT/ACT math scores, student loan default rates, average cost of attendance, a measure of alumni income earnings, and graduation rates.

What do students consider a high-quality education? #highered

Part two in the report series will examine the predictive power of relevance across the spectrum of individual pathways, fields of study, occupations, and experiences. Part three will engage leaders in the field to identify implications and solutions that will allow us to meet education consumers where they are and deliver high-quality, high-value, and life outcomes.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura

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