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Summary of OBF Impact on Student Outcomes in Tennessee and Indiana

From 2014-2016, Research for Action (RFA) worked closely with state officials in Tennessee and Indiana to obtain, verify, and analyze data obtained from Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) to determine the impact of each state’s Outcomes-Based Funding (OBF) policy on student outcomes over time. As is the case with all OBF policy, the formulas vary in terms of the specific outcomes rewarded and by the degree to which institutions were rewarded with “premiums” for disadvantaged students. There is strong evidence that OBF in both Tennessee and Indiana has a positive impact on a range of student outcomes. These results have been realized as the percentage of overall enrollment comprised of Pell students has increased in both states.