In a bid to increase the number of citizens who are college degree holders and can help boost the U.S. economy, the White House is introducing a new tool to help students and families search for the ideal college.
President Obama recently unveiled College Scorecard, a website that uses open data to assist anyone, specifically, students, researchers, schools, and policymakers, to evaluate various factors. The online system can be accessed via CollegeScorecard.ed.gov.
"As college costs and student debt keep rising, the choices that Americans make when searching for and selecting a college have never been more important," Obama stated [video] as he was introducing the website during his weekly address. "That's why everyone should be able to find clear, reliable, open data on college affordability and value."
With this new tool, an individual can assess higher education institutions based on a variety of factors, including the size and location of schools and also the types of programs or degrees offered. Moreover, the site presents comprehensive and reliable data related to the college's student outcomes, which include the student debts of graduates, earnings of students, and repayment rates of borrowers.
With this website, a student, for instance, can search for institutions with a graduation rate higher than 75 percent; schools with average yearly costs of $10,000; or schools whose graduates earn average salaries of over $50,000 every year.
"Access to better data will help students choose colleges that will help them learn, graduate, and find jobs. Access to better data will help colleges assess how well they help all types of students succeed during and after college," stated the White House.
By launching the website, reports say, Washington seems to be abandoning efforts to create a system that will give ratings to the country's colleges and universities. The primary objective of the original plan was to shame schools with low ratings.
This rating system of the government was opposed by various institutions, saying it could allow some institutions to prioritize money-making degrees, such as accounting, over courses related to history, philosophy, and others.