A majority of states now use some form of performance-based funding to allocate a portion of higher-education funding based on how well public colleges meet desired performance goals. The success of performance-based funding, however, is far less certain.

This brief offers college leaders and policy makers practical advice, historical context, case studies, data, and other resources to help navigate the intricacies of this increasingly popular funding model. As performance-based funding evolves, public colleges are becoming more sophisticated about pushing for changes that better reflect their missions and help their students.