President Barack Obama unveiled a new college scorecard on Saturday that contains an overwhelming amount of data on everything from average annual cost to graduation rate—– to how much graduates earn a decade after leaving their respective institutions. The revamped scoreboard released a trove of new federal data about the nation’s colleges and universities
For the first time, the data reveals the share of a college’s former students who make some progress in paying down their federal loans within the first three years after leaving college. Moreover, they provide the first comprehensive look at how much students who receive federal loans and Pell Grants end up earning after they leave a specific college, both in the short term and long term.
The administration’s new data thats broken down by individual college and going back several years, won praise from experts on higher education data, even as they — and many college and university leaders, from a much more negative perspective — were quick to point out the significant limitations of the information.
What is significant – the government’s new earnings data reflect only the achievements of students who received federal financial aid, which several experts said would significantly skew the data and either understate — or, in some cases, possibly overstate — the actual median earnings of a college’s former students
Updated College Scorecard——the College Scorecard, features new measures of student outcomes at specific institutions, including graduation rates, median salary information and loan repayment rates.
Democrats and Republicans alikeand the administration abandoned its ratings plan earlier this summer. Officials pledged to instead provide a host of new consumer information about colleges. The information released Saturday reveals student earnings data broken down by specific college and university. the department is publishing two new post college salary metrics based on data from students who received Federal loans or grants to attend college.
1.The first data reveals the share of a college’s former students who, six years after they entered college, earn more than about $25,000 per year. That threshold is designed to show how many students are making more than what the average high school graduate earns.
2.A second earnings metric is more long term. It shows the median salary of former students 10 years after they began college. For both metrics, the earnings data capture former students who received federal student aid at a college, regardless of whether they graduated.
The American Council on Education,—expressed concern about the data. The revamped Scorecard may or may not provide meaningful information to the students and families.and the scorecard only provides a single number for an entire institution regardless of whether a student studied chemical engineering or philosophy, and only includes the earnings of federal student loan borrower.
A coalition of public colleges and university leaders have urged the administration to rely on the Student Achievement Measure.
Many data experts conceive that the administration’s focus on publishing some student outcome data, however imperfect, was an important step forward.
The new consumer tool will also feature “warning flags, revealing colleges that the Education Department has singled out for the extra scrutiny known as heightened cash monitoring, level two, because of serious financial or regulatory compliance issues. The revamped website will allow users to sort colleges based on their own preferences. In addition,they will publish the data through an application programming interface, or API, a web protocol that allows other organizations to easily incorporate the data into their own sites or applications.