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Obama announces updated 'College Scorecard' to aid school selection

By Amy R. Connolly
Obama announces updated 'College Scorecard' to aid school selection
President Barack Obama announced an updated College Scorecard Saturday, giving students a deeper look at the value and risks with getting a college degree. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama on Saturday announced a new college information website aimed at giving students a deeper look at the value and risks associated with getting a university degree.

The new College Scorecard site, which replaces an older one with the same name, features information about colleges not previously available on the predecessor site or other federal sources. Most notably, it presents the average earnings from graduates at individual schools based on Internal Revenue Service data. It spells out how students fare a decade after graduation and how they compare to those who entered the workforce with just a high-school diploma.

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"Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education." Obama said in his weekly radio address. "You'll be able to see how much each school's graduates earn, how much debt they graduate with and what percentage of a school's students can pay back their loans -- which will help all of us see which schools do the best job of preparing America for success."

Two years ago, Obama announced a college rating system that would evaluate schools based on average tuition, graduation rates and average earnings, among other things. After a backlash from college presidents, Obama lost the "ranking system" in favor of a "scorecard" but it is still coming under harsh criticism.

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"There is widespread interest in having accurate data about the earnings of college graduates, and the revised College Scorecard being unveiled by the Department of Education is an attempt to respond to that demand," said Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, which represents the presidents of more than 1,700 colleges and universities. "However, developing a system of this size and scope is a complicated and nuanced endeavor and the department has done so without any external review."

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