Feds release College Scorecard announced by President Obama during State of the Union address

As promised by President Obama last night, here is the info on and link to the new federal College Scorecard.

The easy-to-use site provides basic information — the tuition costs, the grad rate,  average loan amount, repayment rate and some employment information.

From the U.S. DOE:

Following President Obama’s State of the Union address, today the U.S. Department of Education released an interactive College Scorecard, which provides students and families the critical information they need to make smart decisions about where to enroll for higher education.

The College Scorecard – as part of President Obama’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value and quality – highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and is consistent with their educational and career goals.

“Through tax credits, grants and better loans, we’ve made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers can’t keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure that they do,” President Obama said in his State of the Union Address last night. “… My Administration will release a new College Scorecard that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

“We know students and families are often overwhelmed in the college search process – but feel they lack the tools to sort through the information and decide which school is right for them,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “The College Scorecard provides a snapshot about an institution’s cost and value to help families make smart decisions about where to enroll.”

The College Scorecard provides students and families with clear information through an interactive tool that lets them choose among any number of options based on their individual needs – including location, size, campus setting, and degree and major programs. Each Scorecard includes five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment. These data will be updated periodically, and the Department plans to publish information on earnings potential in the coming year.

The launch of the College Scorecard illustrates President Obama’s commitment to provide consumers with information about college costs and value in an easy-to-read format. After receiving comments on the prototype of the College Scorecard – and following many conversations with leaders of higher education institutions, college counselors, students and parents – the Department updated this tool to better meet families’ needs and provide them with the information they found most valuable in making decisions about where to enroll.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

24 comments Add your comment

Hall Mom

February 13th, 2013
10:01 am

Silly idea and waste of taxpayer funds. US News already does this.

We don’t need the government to force the cost of college down. Students are perfectly capable of determining the value of college for themselves.

Jonathan

February 13th, 2013
10:25 am

If students were capable of determining the value of college for themselves, there would not be the insanely high levels of student debt that exist now.

reality check

February 13th, 2013
10:59 am

It is really funny that our government is going to evaluate “cost, quality and value” of anything. What a bunch of incompetent clowns.

Obama is an idiot

February 13th, 2013
11:23 am

So another few hundred new federal employees in order to put this together. Go Obama. Great jobs programs.

R U Kidding

February 13th, 2013
11:26 am

@Jonathan

“If students were capable of determining the value of college for themselves, there would not be the insanely high levels of student debt that exist now.”

I can’t believe you believe what you wrote. If these “students” are not capable of gathering the information to make this decision, they are not capable of attending a real college.

Eugene Walker Must Go

February 13th, 2013
11:28 am

If you take advice from the Federal government on education with regard to cost, quality and value you are beyond help. Unless you have had blunt force trauma to the head, then it is excusable.

R U Kidding

February 13th, 2013
11:31 am

@Jonathan.

I can’t believe you believe what you wrote. If ’students’ are not capable of gathering the information needed to make this decision, they should not be attending college. But to Obama, this would not be ‘fair’, so he wants to put hundreds if not thousands of new employees onto a budget that is borrowing 60 cents for every dollar it spends. This is not leadership. It is vote buying. Which is the only thing Obama has proven he is good at.

Brasstown

February 13th, 2013
11:51 am

This website from the White House is unnecessary. Certainly not STOU address worthy.

Just keep focusing on getting our troops home and energy independant. Single payer would be nice too. If you can do that then your 8 years would be a big success IMO.

Don't Tread

February 13th, 2013
11:53 am

Who designed that interface?! 3 year olds and those with the mentality of 3 year olds might enjoy it to make all the pretty shapes move around and light up. And we wonder why government can’t get anything right…

Just Sayin

February 13th, 2013
11:56 am

Seriously! Get a grip people. While you guys snark, there are actually people out there that might use this. Stop being so nasty and judgmental. Just because YOU don’t see the value in it doesn’t mean that someone else can’t. Our government has problems just like any other country’s government, but this doesn’t mean that everything that comes from it is horrible or evil. As I said yesterday if you have the answers then by ALL means get your information out to the world, but don’t come on here snarking about every every single topic if you aren’t gonna do anything. Student debt has been a rising problem for years. Many students make bad decsions on choice of school or loan amounts.You guys act like you never made a bad decision when you were young.

Jefferson

February 13th, 2013
12:44 pm

Apathy is not taught at college, so share some.

SPARKY

February 13th, 2013
12:47 pm

Sad that Maureen can’t even reference the sitting POTUS in a piece without drawing catcalls from the resident troglodytes,

Pardon My Blog

February 13th, 2013
12:50 pm

Went to the website, see I have an open mind. Nothing but a “look at me, see what I have done” promotional site for POTUS!

Hopefully those that are headed to college have done their research based on what they want to study and have looked at all the information that is already out there. Those headed to technical school should do the same. Success of any institution will vary with the students’ successes after graduation.

Another view

February 13th, 2013
1:04 pm

I tried the link. It did not work.

Prof

February 13th, 2013
1:08 pm

I too just checked the website, and it seems that most of you are criticizing it without doing so. I think it looks great. This is certainly not like the US News report on colleges!

There are about 8 areas (degree/major, occupation sought, college zip code, size of college, awards offered, type of college (campus or distance learning), region of college), with choices to click within each category so that people can tailor the results to their individual situations.

Not all citizens have access to detailed high school college counseling or parents willing to research college choices. Those who are left stuck with enormous federal-backed student loans that can’t be repaid are the taxpayers, not the students. This is one effective way of trying to do something about our student loan crisis that is costing a lot of money currently.

Kris

February 13th, 2013
1:27 pm

Georgis is as good a place to start lowering college costs.

Fire all college presidents…Replace with less expensive qualified people ( all they do is wipe butts and kiss politicians rear ends.

Second Fire all Vice Presidents of (whatever)replace with cheaper people. They can assist the former president in his duties.

Stop all add on costs…lawn mower gas fee, presidents car wash fee etc
).

GA 48th in education…That needs to be fixed.

Maureen Downey

February 13th, 2013
1:44 pm

@Another, Just tried and it took me there;

Here is the actual link. Scroll down a bit for the scorecard:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education/college-score-card

William Casey

February 13th, 2013
2:16 pm

The site looks useful to me though not overwhelmingly informative. One VERY good thing: its estimate for the cost of attending Georgia Southern (where my son will graduate in May) is absolutely correct.

NW GA Math/Science Teacher

February 13th, 2013
7:35 pm

Digging into the data, I’m not finding that much that would be truly useful. Right now, at least, the filter mechanism doesn’t seem functional (though I’ve only tried on Chrome, could be specific). This could eventually be a useful tool, but too much hype right now for what’s available on there. Specifically, I think they should have waited for the jobs-after-degree info. The colleges often can’t provide this data either – I’m sure Tech can say accurately, though maybe not so precisely, that their grads get “good” jobs. What if I, as the site suggests, call West Ga? They have a vested interest in making it sound as good as possible, but is this really information? How would they even track how their grads are doing? We could put up a web poll to see how they’re doing – about the same rigor in the results from that…

Private Citizen

February 13th, 2013
10:19 pm

Localise it to state, nothing happens. It sits there and looks at you with that 1950’s Formica kitchen table sparkle motif.

Private Citizen

February 13th, 2013
10:24 pm

Private Citizen

February 13th, 2013
10:29 pm

Georgia Southern: 46.5% of full-time students received their bachelor’s degree within 6 years and 39.1% transferred to another institution.

Ouch.

Private Citizen

February 13th, 2013
10:34 pm

Information looks useful. Could do with a little less George Jetson graphic, which is an aesthetics issue.

Educator

February 20th, 2013
1:07 am

Given the criteria posted, I searched on the specific major and state. I searched for a major that is NOT offered in all colleges, and I knew the ones that did offer the major in my state. It gave me a list of all 4 year colleges in my state. How is this supposed to help a student find a college with a specific major?