Leaders propose comparative tool for college statistics

By Tiffany Blanchette

The possible addition of the “College Scorecard,” a new academic tool, to the College Affordability and Transparency Center would aim to streamline informational data from all degree-granting institutions.

It would compare key measures of college affordability and value for prospective students and their families before they make the decision on which college to attend, according to the White House website.

The purpose of the components of the Scorecard would be to answer the questions many prospective students ask about potential colleges.


Components on the sample Scorecard include costs, graduation rates, student loan and debt

statistics, and post-graduation potentials such as employment and earnings.

Each component would give information regarding aspects specific to a single collegiate institution, and the Scorecard graphic would illustrate exactly where the college falls with respect to every other college in the nation.

The cost component would summarize expenses by providing various tuition rates before any applied aid, the average tuition rates after any received aid and the percent change from the previous fiscal year.

The graduation component would show how likely a student is to graduate and in how many years by listing the percentage of students who graduate within four, five and six years, as well as noting the percentage of students who transfer to another institution.

The student loan and debt

statistics would gauge the amount of money students borrow to complete a degree, how much debt a student accumulates while attending the institution and how many students successfully repay their loans after graduation.


The potential employment and earnings component would show how many of an institution’s

graduates find a job, what type of jobs they get and how much they earn.

This tool, which was proposed during President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 24., could streamline the college search and decision process for students and their families by funneling information into one formatted location and allowing the comparison of statistics and numbers from potential institutions.

After an email sent to three staff members in the Registrar’s Office seeking comment on their opinion about the practicality of the College Scoreboard went unanswered, Pam Nelson, admissions and records supervisor, said approval from University Spokesman Rod Sievers was needed and Nelson declined to comment.

Obama said in the address that ease of access to higher education is overdue.

“You know how well a car stacks up. You should know how a college stacks up,” president Obama said in the State of the Union address.