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Return on Investment

Legislators want to know the return on investment of adult education and literacy to adult learners, to their communities, and to society. Consider how you can demonstrate return on investment for your program.


Legislators or their aides may be new to adult education and literacy issues. Use these facts from the Adult Education: A Good Investment in National Priorities to guide them; supplement national facts with local and state data.

Economic Impact of the GED Credential: Research Quick Facts (2011)
This one-page summary identifies that adults with GED credentials take a middle position (between high school dropouts and traditional high school graduates) in terms of earnings and other labor-related indicators. The full report is available here.

Fact Sheets

Calculating Return on Investment (RoI) Examples
Examples from the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE) demonstrate how to calculate RoI.

Calculating Return on Investment (RoI) Worksheet
Adapted from the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE), this worksheet lists three examples of how to demonstrate RoI from a state perspective. Return on Investment Missouri

Economic Benefits to Arkansas Resulting from 2008-2009 Funding
See page two of this Arkansas fact sheet for excellent return-on-investment data of adult education in Arkansas.

Economic Impact—Michigan Example
From Michigan, this fact sheet shows one way to present return on investment from an individual, business, and tax perspective.

Economic Impact—Tennessee Example
From Tennessee, this fact sheet shows a way to present return on investment from a tax perspective.

Department of Labor Interactive Minimum Wage Map
This map is useful when calculating the return on investment for adult learners who find jobs. Click on any state or jurisdiction to find out about minimum wage laws.

Median Weekly Earnings
Get the most recent data on median weekly earnings of those with and without a high school diploma. Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site and type “median weekly earnings” in the search field. Use these data to calculate the return on investment of the GED credential in your area.


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