Obama Administration Launches College Scorecard

“… My administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria — where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.” – President Obama, 2013 State of the Union

Example of Scorecard

The interactive College Scorecard gives students and families five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.

Too often, students and their families don’t have the right tools to help them sort through the information they need to decide which college or university is right for them. The search can be overwhelming, and the information from different colleges can be hard to compare.

That’s why, today, our Administration released a “College Scorecard” that empowers families to make smart investments in higher education. As the President said last night, we want to help families get the most bang for their educational buck.

The College Scorecard – as part of President Obama’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value and quality – highlights key indicators about the cost and value of institutions across the country to help students choose a school that is well-suited to meet their needs, priced affordably, and is consistent with their educational and career goals.

The tool is interactive, so students can choose among any number of options based on their individual needs – including location, size, campus setting, and degree and major programs.

Each Scorecard includes five key pieces of data about a college: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment. These data will be updated periodically, and the Department plans to publish information on average earnings in the coming year.

Get started by visiting whitehouse.gov/scorecard.

Arne Duncan is U.S. Secretary of Education

Read more about President Obama’s State of the Union address


  1. Thank you for at least breaking the ice with an instrument that can be of assistance to young adults & their parents in searching and marketing postsecondary instutions. Any program luanched will always be faced with updates and improvements in useage. I personally think it is a good firm start in the federal government taking a step in assisting with this arena of research for so that we can market better in such a large arena.

  2. As a current college freshman, I would have loved to have had this tool last year when I was applying to college. Throughout the process of applying to college I often looked for a website to compare colleges, but was never sure of which sites to trust for reliable information. After looking at the College Scorecard, I think there is a lot of good information available, but I agree that adding more information would be beneficial to students researching colleges. SAT and ACT scores would be extremely beneficial. Although there is room for this tool to grow, I think it is an excellent resource.

  3. I just wanted to thank you for the new College Scorecard system. I think it will be very helpful for my kids. One thing that can make Scorecard even better is to be able to compare schools to each other.

  4. It’s great that information that was already available (through IPEDS) has been made available to the public in this intuitive dashboard look. This seems to be a great tool for parents and students alike. As Robin says, adding SAT/ACT scores would be a valuable addition, as would metrics such as scholarships granted.

    Are there plans to expand this scorecard in the future?

  5. Thank you for this great resource. My three kids are about 6 years away from entering college and this will help me better understand how much it will costs us. It makes it a lot less scary having the facts and being able to plan for it. So thanks again to all of those who worked on this project.

  6. Why aren’t certificate granting schools offering post secondary education/training included in the scorecard data base? This is a serious deficiency. Although hairstyling is not a degree program because a community college may offer that program, it is listed. There are many many non degree schools offering excellent hairstyling (ditto electronic, auto mechanics, computer training, etc.) programs that are not included. One could say the scorecard is biased toward a certain type institution.

  7. This will be helpful for students and parents.

    This will also have the unintended effect of encouraging grade inflation to improve scores. School administrators know that placement and salary statistics improve when students have a B or above average so Bs or above will be encouraged. This is because a lot of employers don’t want to hire students with below a B average. Grades are a lot less meaningful than they used to be.

  8. http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/13/obama-administration-launches-college-scorecard

    I experimented with the College Scorecard program and found that there are serious flaws in the program. When I selected Bachelor’s Degree programs within 50 miles of zip code 95060 (Santa Cruz, California), I was directed to local community colleges. I am familiar with California Community Colleges, and I know that they DO NOT offer Bachelor’s Degrees. Then I selected majors that I know are offered by the University of California, Santa Cruz. I selected campuses within 50 miles of zip code 95060. The University of California, Santa Cruz campus is located about 3 miles from my home. I reside in zip code 95060, which is a very small area, not anywhere near 50 miles in any direction. The University of California, Santa Cruz campus (zip code 95064) was not among the selections chosen by the program. I tried the program one last time and typed the name of the institution — University of California — into the program. For a brief few seconds, I saw a list of all campuses in the University of California system appear on my computer display, then the list disappeared and I was presented with a list of private institutions and community colleges within 50 miles of zip code 95060, many of which lie outside of zip code 95060. This is evidence that the program is deeply flawed. The University of California is the nation’s premier public university, established under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1862 (Land Grant Act — Land Grant Colleges), and offers many bachelor’s degrees in disciplines included in the College Scorecard program’s list of choices.

    I think the program should have been debugged before offering it to the public!

    — Renée
    Graduate of UC Santa Cruz 1979

  9. More and more kids get left behind because they change schools or have other problems that don’t let them reach their learning capability. The NCLB law only protects the teachers and parents. We need to look at why those students fall behind and just quit, and at the teachers that pass them no matter what because they don’t want to hear from the parents. My daughter had 2 hip surgeries before she was 14, then she had life threatening Cancer. She missed over 300 days of school in 3 years. 1 year she was only there 50 days and she passed high honors and finished school on time and “graduated,” even though she wasn’t prepared. This set her back from going to college because no one accepted her. END the NCLB please for the love of all those that need help. PS I never had an education.

  10. This appears to be a good tool for parents who are involved. You may want to consider this step in the FAFSA process. Perhaps a link to the card or a step you must take in the application process.

    Another option is to add this information to the SAT/ACT sites.

    What will you do about the tuition rates at universities? The working class is being trounced by loan debt. If we are interested in 50/15 then we have to make costs affordable for the least. Let’s boost our community college programs and connect them to four-year institutions. Identify the job market. Create new job markets (rehabilitation, reform, and more work up front, definitely not more prisons)!

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