College affordability continues to be a major issue for students, families and institutions of higher education. Many students struggle to find accurate data about college cost and student debt when selecting a college. In order to help students and families to make informed decisions about the cost of college, President Obama, a few months ago, unveiled the online system called the College Scorecard.
The College Scorecard is an extensive federal database, developed in collaboration with teachers, parents and students, that holds information about cost of attendance and student debt for over 7,000 higher education institutions in the U.S. This database also allows students and families to sort and compare institutions based on a number of factors: school size, salary after attending, on time graduation rates among other factors. The goal of the database is not to rank institution but instead provide information on institutions. Another aim is to provide transparency and access to better data that will help students/families to be proactive about planning for college.
If you haven’t checked out the site please make sure to look up your institution and you will be surprised (some times in positive ways) about the kind of information you will find. I think this is a great initiative and the website is easy and simple. One major critique I have of this database is that although it allows students/parents to compare institutions and make decisions accordingly about the cost of college, I believe that not all institutions are the same and unless you are comparing similar institutions (by size or type) that is the only way you can easily say that you are making informed decisions about the institution you may attend.
What do you think? Is this an initiative that would have been helpful to you as you were making decisions regarding what institution to attend?
December 4, 2015 @ 9:59 pm
My biggest surprise? They’ve labeled Virginia Tech as “city.” I think they may need to find a dictionary.
Overall, I do think this is a good tool, particularly the information about average loans and percentage of students repaying their loans, since that’s not information readily available from most schools. I’m curious if this may spur a change from some schools who come off looking horrible, like those with much higher than average costs, but lower than average earnings.