Data Driven Marketing

Three Benefits of Using Verified Data to Prove Graduate Outcomes

Three Benefits of Using Verified Data to Prove Graduate Outcomes

July 28, 2023 | Jason Berman

The postsecondary education system is facing unprecedented challenges. Declining enrollment rates, college affordability concerns, controversy over student loan forgiveness, and now, the reversal of affirmative action in admissions. Furthermore, there is regulatory pressure on institutions to show return on investment (ROI) and program effectiveness. Governing boards, policymakers, funding agencies, and prospective students are interested in understanding the value an institution offers to students and the associated impact to society. College affordability is a real concern for many consumers, especially in an uncertain economic environment. Students need to understand what financial outcomes they can expect if they invest in a college education. So how do schools meet these growing demands and regulatory requirements? Colleges and universities need reliable sources of data that offer the depth and breadth of insights. Richer insights can help to quantify value and identify actionable steps to maximize what’s working and course-correct what’s not. 

Traditionally, schools have relied upon self-reported data from surveys or state-specific databases. While these methods offer value, they also have limitations. Surveys can yield low response rates, response bias, or inaccurate information¹. State-specific databases, provide a broader overview of educational attainment and employment trends, however may not capture the nuances of individual experiences, career paths, or the impact of higher education on graduates' lives. Information from state databases is also often limited to in-state residents versus a national view. 

Verified data versus self-reported data

To prove the value of a degree and have the confidence to stand behind the findings, schools need timely, fact-based, and statistically sound data on a national level – and Equifax has it. Read on for three benefits of using Equifax verified data versus relying on self-reported data. 

1. Trust. Equifax is a well-known and authoritative source of trusted consumer information. Financial institutions, government agencies, and companies in every industry across the globe rely on our data to make critical business decisions every day. 

By partnering with us, higher education institutions can gain access to estimated income, wealth, debt, and credit attributes at a national level. This provides a more holistic view of graduate pay and financial health over time. We also provide custom segmentation and personalized attributes that Institutional Researchers, Provosts, and other higher education professionals can use to:

  • Measure and quantify the value of academic programs

  • Market to current and prospective students

  • Enhance inclusivity strategies

  • Monitor institutional effectiveness over time

  • Meet federal and state reporting requirements for program funding

  • Boost fundraising efforts by pinpointing alumni with financial capacity to donate

2. Compliance. Since our data is anonymized at the individual-level, we and any higher education institution using our data are compliant with privacy laws such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).

3. Speed. Our data is frequently updated and can be delivered faster than other traditional data gathering methods. This means that colleges and universities can spend less time with manual outreaches and sorting through self-reported data. Instead, colleges can start focusing on implementing strategies that will benefit their students and institutions.

It is important that higher education institutions have access to the data they need to better serve their students and position themselves for growth well into the future. We can help you better understand graduate outcomes and focus on forward. Learn more by visiting our Higher Education resource page.

Jason Berman

Jason Berman

Business Development Advocate - Retail

Jason Berman is the Director of Higher Education at Equifax. In this role he is responsible for expanding and growing Graduate Outcomes using powerful Data and Analytics tools and brings a strong passion for empowering colleges and universities to use "Data for Good" and influence student outcomes. Jason brings more th[...]