Magendanz provision to predict college degree earnings included in budget

The state supplemental budget signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last week includes a provision championed by state Rep. Chad Magendanz to measure the earnings potentials of postsecondary degrees.

During the legislative session Magendanz introduced legislation to publish earnings and employment data associated with different higher education degrees, apprenticeships and certificates, and make the data available online.

His bill got stuck in the House Higher Education Committee, but the idea – which attracted bipartisan support – made it into the 2014 supplemental budget.

Magendanz said in a statement that the rising cost of college requires students and parents to be more informed consumers.

“When you’re paying for higher education, you want the best possible return on your investment,” said Magendanz. “Knowing ahead of time what programs have the most earnings potential will help students find employment after they graduate. It may also help alleviate the problem we have now in our state, where we don’t have enough graduates to fill available high-tech jobs.”

The budget provision allocates $46,000 for the state’s Education Research & Data Center to collect data from public four-year institutions as well as community and technical colleges and workforce training programs. A final report will be ready by Nov. 1.


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