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College Scorecards allow students to compare college affordability and value


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Choosing a college involves a number of factors, with affordability being one of the major considerations. As the cost of higher education continues to increase, while salaries for many families continue to stagnate, it is important for students to get the most for their education dollar. To address this issue, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently launched its new College Scorecard Web site.

During his recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama reiterated the need to keep college costs down and to ensure that higher education is accessible to more students. Part of this initiative includes providing students and families with more information on the cost and value of individual colleges.

By using the College Scorecard, students can compare data from colleges, universities and other educational programs across the U.S. The data includes the average annual net price, graduation rates, the amount students at that school typically borrow to fund their education, monthly loan payments, and default rates.

Many education experts agree that the College Scorecard system is a step in the right direction. However, according to The New York Times, some academic leaders believe more needs to be done before the tool will be truly useful to students and their parents.

They suggest that the College Scorecards could be improved by providing more up-to-date data as well as information not available on other college related tools such as the ED's College Navigator and the college's Net Price Calculator. Also, the Scorecard's Employment category, which claims to detail the kinds of jobs students have when they graduate, is still being developed. For many students and families this may be the most important feature of the new Scorecard as everyone wants to know that they will be able to repay their college loans after graduation.

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College Scorecards allow students to compare college affordability and value
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