Choosing the right university to attend is always a difficult task, especially when affordability is a critical deciding factor.
The United States government recently created the College Scorecard, an online tool to help prospective college students decide what school is the best fit for them. It allows individuals to search colleges by name, location, personal interests, type of college and other popular criteria.
A tool like this, created by the government, is unprecedented. Not only does this scorecard allow people to search any accredited university in the U.S., it also provides a breakdown for each school based on the average cost per year, graduation rate, loan default rate, loan borrowing amount and postgraduation employment.
Education issues have always been handled at the state level and the fact that the national government is stepping in to provide a service is extremely beneficial. With tuition rapidly increasing and colleges becoming more selective, students looking to attend college need to know their options.
The accurate and verified information that this tool provides is not available at any other levels of government. With the College Scorecard, students have a service that wouldn't be provided elsewhere. Even if students research colleges on their own, they are more likely to find information that is skewed, biased or disorganized.
Our government has finally stepped in, the right way, and is helping prospective college students make responsible decisions when thinking about their futures. The College Scorecard also helps parents determine what schools they can and cannot afford, excluding scholarships and grants that their children may receive.
Although the breakdown is user-friendly, it would be helpful to rate the universities on a grading scale as well. Some individuals will understand the system a little better, and it will put the scorecard into perspective.
As the government continues to create positive initiatives that benefit prospective college students, they should also keep current college students in mind. Creating a College Scorecard that breaks down the affordability of postgraduate programs, such as graduate school, law school and medical school, should be the next initiative the government takes on.