Inside Higher Ed Article Cites Gándara’s Work on States’ Performance-funding Policies

Assistant Professor Denisa Gándara, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, Simmons School

Assistant Professor Denisa Gándara’s research on funding incentives some states are using to improve student outcomes at public universities is cited in a recent Inside Higher Ed article.

The article explains how some states are making efforts to preserve access for historically underserved students by awarding additional funding (premiums) for enrolling certain groups of students (usually low-income and racial / ethnic minorities).

Colorado’s new funding model, which includes these types of premiums, receives particular attention.

Gándara’s study, co-written with Indiana University’s Amanda Rutherford, finds that the share of both low-income and Hispanic students increases in institutions with performance-funding incentives compared to institutions without such premiums.

Unexpectedly, the findings also reveal negative effects of funding bonuses on Black student enrollments. The findings suggest institutions may be prioritizing enrollment of non-Black students, even when states incorporate these incentives to diversify enrollments. The study was not able to explain this negative relationship between underrepresented student premiums and Black student enrollments.

In addition to the study cited in the article, Gándara’s recent research on performance-based funding models in higher education includes:

Gándara, D., & Rutherford, A. (2020). Completion at the Expense of Access? The Relationship Between Performance-Funding Policies and Access to Public 4-Year Universities. Educational Researcher, 0013189X20927386.

Gándara, D. (2020). How the sausage is made: An examination of a state funding model design process. The Journal of Higher Education91(2), 192-221.

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