From the IES Director: The Value of Cost Analysis

Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Director Mark Schneider recently commented that among the IES Standards for Excellence in Education Research, SEER Principals, cost analysis arguably presents the greatest challenge to a field in which economists are few and far between and cost analysis training is rare.

IES had been increasing its emphasis on cost analysis for several years before making it a required component for most grants in 2020. The reason behind this requirement is simple: IES believes it is not sufficient to recommend an effective intervention to educators without also informing them about the resources required to implement the intervention.

IES recognizes its responsibility for providing technical assistance to support high-quality cost analysis. In his recent blog The Value of Cost Analysis, Dr. Schneider outlines some of the resources IES has funded to assist with this year’s competitions and requests feedback on these resources and how to plan for next year’s competitions.

  • Cost Analysis: A Starter Kit is designed for grant applicants who are new to cost analysis. The kit provides a three-phased approach to the basics of cost analysis, setting the foundation for more complex economic analyses. This is accompanied by an Excel Spreadsheet to help structure the actual cost analysis work.

Please e-mail Dr. Schneider directly at with any comments on cost analysis or feedback on any of the resources noted above.