College Scorecard Guide for College Goers

Returning to school after having a job is a major decision. Higher education can lead to better paying jobs, but can also lead to mountains of new debt that can seem impossible to overcome. Fortunately, the Obama administration is trying to make things better for college students of all ages by releasing a college scorecard. The primary purpose is to help students and parents alike make better decisions about colleges and study courses.

What is the scorecard?

The basic idea of the Obama college scorecard is to allow parents and students to search specific schools and compare the cost of specific majors to the potential earnings after graduation. Currently, some data may be lacking but, the goal is to populate the database as information becomes available.  When fully implemented, students will be able to make better decisions regarding their choice of college and their college major area of study.

What is the purpose of the college scorecard?

The overall purpose of the college scorecard is to allow students and their parents to find a college that is a good fit. Eventually, the data will include additional information including employment rates and average earnings for graduates.  Once these are implemented, the scorecard could be more valuable to parents and students. This type of data should be helpful in evaluating the value of certain degrees. For example, if you get a degree in Geology and there is no job potential, the value of your diploma is not as great as getting a degree in Education where jobs are plentiful.

What kind of information is in the Obama college scorecard?

Currently although the database is not complete, there is quite a bit of information in the Obama college scorecard. For example, potential students searching for schools where they can take advantage of distance learning can search for schools that offer online classes in specific majors.

Once a parent or student has selected their criteria, the school data includes graduation rates, current costs and increase/decrease in tuition costs over time, as well as the average amount of student loan debt. Eventually the goal is to have the school provide information on job possibilities as well as placement data.

While the current Obama college scorecard may be lacking some information, it remains an excellent resource for students and their parents. In addition, there are many helpful links that allow students to search using a variety of criteria including college locations, types of degrees offered and more. This handy tool can help students narrow down their options whether they are planning for high-school graduation or returning to school after years in the job market.