Right before Valentine’s Day, the Obama administration made good on President Obama’s desire to aid students and parents regarding the selection of a college. Mr. Obama, in his 2013 State of the Union address, spoke of releasing:
“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.”
This College Scorecard is now available for students and parents to peruse on the White House’s website. With so many colleges and universities to choose from, whether traditional campuses or online, the college selection process can feel overwhelming at times.
College Scoreboard is intended to keep colleges accountable and make important decisions easier for students—such as which college to attend or what school ranks the best in terms of graduation rates or cost. While employment data and median earnings information is yet to be included on the site, the U.S. Department of Education says that they are “working to provide information about the average earnings of former undergraduate students.”
Navigation on the College Scoreboard page is simple. You can search for a particular college by typing in the name of a college in the search bar and then hitting enter on your keypad. You also have the option of looking for schools by selecting: Degree and Major, Occupation, Zip Code, Size, Awards Offered, State, Campus Setting, Region, or Distance Education (for online schools). Because College Scoreboard is interactive, you can select any number of criteria and search for schools accordingly.
Information about the school you select is broken down into 5 sections: Loan Default Rate, Graduation Rate, Costs, Median Borrowing, and Employment (this section remains to be updated by the U.S. Department of Education). For now, if you want data about a particular school’s graduates’ earnings, you will need to contact the school yourself and try to track down that information.
College Scoreboard is based on federal data and tends to represent traditional, younger students. Therefore, it is great for students ages 18-24. For nontraditional students ages 25 +, in addition to College Scoreboard, you may want to include other college research options such as Education Connection and filling out the FAFSA found on the Federal Student Aid website.