Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Calculating the value of college

President Obama has proposed rating colleges as a way to channel more students to colleges that are worthwhile, but the idea has yet to gel and already is facing criticism by academia. Academics dismissed the presidents' proposal overwhelmingly in comments to an article in Inside Higher Education covering an interview by Tumblr with the president about high student debt. The president's broad goal is to permit consumers to determine the cost-benefits of higher education expenses. The actual Tumblr interview was much more wide-ranging--addressing government efforts to attract more students to STEM fields and to help those going into low-paying, public service fields. Currently, the most popularly-known college ranking system is conducted by the U.S. News and World Report, which is informed by factors other than student outcomes, such as how much research funding a university amasses. There have been efforts by a group using regional employment data and other research organizations using college loan data to provide such data to students and their families too.