Prospective Students Get New College Selection Tool
Once upon a time, a college degree ensured a bright future. In fact, an entire previous generation taught their children to work hard, go to college, and stay away from trouble. That seemed to be a recipe for success.
Maybe is still is, but it has become harder to find the right ingredients to make that recipe a success – especially when choosing the “right” college and degree program.
Forbes estimates that the national student loan debt is $1.2 trillion – with $1 trillion of that federal student loan debt. US News estimates that the average student loan debt for 2013 graduates is $30,000. Many students graduate with six figure debts hanging over their heads as they enter the workforce. Bankruptcy is largely not an option to discharge this debt. Consequently, now, more than ever it is important to make wise decisions regarding college choice and degree program.
Fortunately, the US government has stepped in with a tool that provides information on graduation rates, what former students of each school earn, how much debt they leave with, and, perhaps most importantly, what percentage can repay their federal student loans.
The College Scorecard, put together by the US Department of Education, allows prospective students to sort and compare information on schools by either state or geographic region.
“Everyone should be able to find clear, reliable, open data on college affordability and value,” President Barack Obama stated. “Many existing college rankings reward schools for spending more money and rejecting more students — at a time when America needs our colleges to focus on affordability and supporting all students who enroll.”
Critics of college rankings by media publications complain that the results may be influenced by advertising or other financial sponsorship by the institution. Sometimes this becomes outright comical when small for-profit schools are ranked on the same level as the nation’s best public universities. The College Scorecard seeks to provide objective information that allows the consumer to research and make a sound decision in his or her education.
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