The White House has released a new website in hopes of giving prospective and continuing college students a new look at several different statistics of the schools that aren’t quality based.
This website is called College Scorecard.
The front page of https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/.
When first entering the site, one is greeted with a background image of some happy grads and a few clickable search boxes that are sorted out by degrees and programs, location, size, and name. By scrolling down, one finds three “fun facts” on college, but scrolling farther, one finds links to lists of schools that are separated into different wants and needs, for example, “15 public four-year colleges with high graduation leading to high incomes.” Next to these links are linked options for financial aid including, type of financial aid, calculating your aid, and the GI Bill benefits.
I’ve conducted my own search: The Otis College of Art and Design (of course). In the search results, the searcher, that’s me in this case, has the option to filter results by cost, graduation rate, and salary after attending. Upon clicking through to Otis’ results page, I see an image of a map of where the school is located, general information about the school and a link to the school's webpage. Lower on the page are three separate statistics about the school in comparison to the national average.
The Otis College of Art and Design search results on
Even lower on the page are seven different drop down menus that include cost, financial aid and debt, earnings after graduation, graduation retention rates, statistics about the student body, and test scores from the ACT/SAT. There’s also a drop down page for programs of study, but the website just leaves us at 94% visual and performing arts programs (the other 6% being architecture programs) which is very vague for my taste. When I click I’ve found out that our annual cost is almost double that of the national average. The site also tells me the average cost of Otis for families in different income brackets. There’s an option to calculate one’s personal net price which sounds super helpful. Our school has over half of it’s students receiving federal loans, and the average total debt of an Otis student is $27k (yikes). Our graduates, however, do earn an above average salary after graduating thankfully.
There are plenty of other websites that do similar tasks as this one, but those sites do not also compare the results to the rest of the nation, or give access to applying for financial aid at the same time.
Otis' Financial Aid Stats. from
College Scorecard does have it’s flaws. I noticed that the word it often uses is “average” but not median. The median would be able to tell the exact middle value, without skew from outliers (given that the outliers would be eliminated properly). Both values are good to know for different reasons, but this site only includes the average. Personally I would like to know all the same information divided up further into the programs of study the student could be interested in because I’m sure that each of the majors have their own individual statistics that would vary. I hope that despite all the emphasis put into cost and salaries after graduation on this website that prospective students don’t think of college as just another way to end up receiving money, but they also remember that if you’re not doing something you love to do, then what’s the point at all?
- Brittany -