A return of $11 on every $1 invested in SEL

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Rate this resource

This groundbreaking 2015 report from the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College, requested by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the NoVo Foundation, presents the results of a cost-benefit analysis evaluating six different SEL intervention programs. The report concludes that high-quality, research-validated social and emotional learning programs bring a return of $11 for every $1 invested.

Existing evaluations of the following six SEL programs were analyzed for this study: 4Rs, Second Step, Positive Action, Life Skills Training, Responsive Classroom and the Social and Emotional Training program from Sweden.

This report is groundbreaking because there has been little previous data that captures the economic value of teaching social and emotional skills. While the researchers acknowledge that there are limitations of their data, and that their estimates of benefits are conservative, the report provides the kind of the analysis that may allow SEL more prominence in educational policy and decision-making, by documenting in economic terms the value of investing in social and emotional learning in young people.

Belfied, C., Bowden, B., Klapp, A., Levin, H., Shand, R., & Zander, S. (2015). The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning. New York: Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.