Projects

AIR created an online tool that allows users in Utah to view the return on investment associated with completing a degree from a particular state institution, in a particular major, at a particular level. Researchers incorporated data from multiple sources, including statewide completion data, data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Gallup, and more, to build the tool. The goal of the tool was to present the state’s educational outcome data in a way that makes it easy for users to compare and make decisions about their educational path.

AIR, in collaboration with IMPAQ, is designing and building a borrower-based dynamic microsimulation model of the repayment of federal student loans for the Cost Estimation and Analysis Division of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Budget Services. This work will help the Department better estimate the costs and consequences of student loan debt for a wide array of student populations, as well as understand the impact of potential policy changes on loan program costs and student outcomes.

AIR evaluated outcomes associated with the Walton Family Foundation’s sizable past investments in the University of Arkansas (UA). AIR analyzed data provided by the Foundation, as well as publicly available data, to estimate the impact of these major investments on key indicators of institutional success at UA. This evaluation has allowed the Foundation to determine how it might further support UA in driving regional economic development and bettering the lives of the state’s residents.

Researchers from AIR supported the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics in data collection efforts related to IPEDS. Specifically, AIR staff prepared IPEDS survey components, developed and maintained written work products, prepared reports, verified statistics, provided expertise on complex data structures and data systems, and participated in planning meetings related to the postsecondary administrative data collection.

Since 2014, AIR has developed a list of colleges and universities for Money’s College Rankings, an annual consumer-facing tool. The aims of the project are to develop an accurate, comprehensive list of colleges and universities to inform students and their families about quality, affordable, and high-value college options.

AIR conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the effects of Early College High Schools, which allow students to take a mixture of high school and college-level courses. The study examined the impacts of Early College High Schools on college enrollment and degree completion up to 6 years after expected high school graduation, in addition to a cost-benefit analysis of Early College High Schools. The goals of the study were to estimate the longer-term impacts of Early College High Schools on student postsecondary outcomes and compare the financial costs and benefits of these schools.

AIR is conducting an evaluation of the implementation of the Perkins V legislation, which defines and supports career and technical education (CTE). The evaluation includes a survey of state CTE directors, a nationally representative survey of local education agencies, an evidence review of career development and counseling, analysis of extant data, a content analysis of the states’ Perkins plans, and possibly a survey of community colleges. This research will explore the implementation of the Perkins V legislation and how implementation is changing as a result of new mandates and allowable activities.

AIR’s NAEP researchers are conducting statistical and psychometric research, evaluation, and data analysis in support of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The goals of the research studies conducted by AIR under this task include (a) developing the psychometric soundness and precision of NAEP assessments, (b) adapting NAEP assessments to changing situations and populations, (c) enhancing understanding of NAEP results, and (d) exploring new ways of modeling NAEP data.

AIR analyzed data and produced reports for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Development Program, on topics relevant to education policy in the form of NCES Statistics in Brief or other statistical products. Data for this work came from NCES data sets.

AIR is conducting a 50-month research and evaluation project of 29 institutions and two state systems to enhance the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and the broader field’s understanding of the institutional transformation process. The goal of the project is to share findings and results from institutional-level and cross-case data related to what catalyzes the transformation process at an institution, the key components of effective models of transformation, how stakeholders are engaged in the transformation process, the timeline for seeing visible changes in institutional and student outcomes, and the risks to transformation.