White House Unveils College Scorecard

The White House
Upcoming college students and their families just got a helping hand from the government—at least when it comes to determining where to send out college applications. The White House and Department of Education just unveiled the College Scorecard.

The point of the College Scorecard is to help prospective students find a learning institution that meets their needs.

By using the Scorecard, prospective students will be able to see which colleges are within their financial range of affordability. This is especially timely given that soaring tuition costs have made getting an education without the use of college loans difficult for many young adults.

Borrowers can directly search for a college’s name to view its average cost of attendance for one year. This feature displays the net price of what a student would pay minus grants and scholarships from the university’s tuition-based cost of attendance. It even displays how much the net price has increased from 2007 to 2009.

The Scorecard also shows each institution’s graduation rate which reveals what percentage of students graduate. It is based upon full-time enrollment, so students who wish to find data on part-time students may have to contact their target university directly for those figures.

Perhaps more financially relevant is the section for loan default rates. This section displays the percentage of students that defaulted on federal college loans within three years of the beginning of repayment. It also presents the national average for comparison.

In a related section for median borrowing, viewers can see the typical amount borrowed for undergraduate studies in terms of federal student loans.

The Scorecard plans on showing employment information for graduates, but that feature is not yet working.

For prospective students that do not have a specific college in mind, they can always use the various filters beneath the Scorecard’s search bar to find colleges that might interest them.

Using these filters, users can search colleges based on degree and major, occupation, proximity, location, student body size, online education services, and on what sort of degrees are offered.