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A Better Educated College Consumer

LibraryThere are a great number of factors that go into selecting a postsecondary institution. Students and families will analyze everything from what interests the student, tuition costs and scholarship availability, proximity to home, access to part-time jobs, and many other factors.

Until now, much of this analysis has required families or teachers or guidance counselors to know where to find the most useful data. Through multiple sources and multiple searches, aspiring college-goers hope to find enough information to make an informed choice about postsecondary education.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education and Google are joining forces to make the process far easier for families. Data from the federal College Scorecard is now being incorporated into Google searches, allowing families to “find information related to student outcomes, such as the graduation rate and the average salary of the university’s graduates.”

There is likely more to come, as EdSurge reports:

Google’s incorporation of College Scorecard data is among several large-scale efforts to help students understand the costs and benefits of going to college. The Department of Education has been spreading the word about its new early FAFSA application, and next year the FAFSA will direct students to the College Scorecard so they can compare their financial aid estimates with school outcomes. College Board is sharing scorecard data with 100,000 low-income students who receive customized college planning information and support through its Access to Opportunity Program. College Abacus and Pell Abacus are also incorporating the outcomes data into their financial-planning tools.

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