Education Department To Consider Student Employment in New College Rating System

Obama administration considers adding labor market success to college rating system

College graduate at commencement with others

Image: File

Starting as early as 2015, the federal government is looking to design a new college rating system that will determine how effective colleges are across the nation based off affordability, access, graduate employment and earnings.

According to a draft of the new ratings system that the Obama administration released on December 19, schools will be rated as high performers, low performers or in the middle based off their standing within the aforementioned categories.

“Designing a new college ratings system is an important step in improving transparency, accountability, and equity in higher education,” The Washington Post reports Ted Mitchell, under secretary of education saying. “The public should know how students fare at institutions receiving federal student aid, and this performance should be considered when we assess our investments and set priorities.”

The administration is looking to use several metrics when rating schools including the share of students who have the financial need to qualify for Pell grants, the pattern of expected family contributions to tuition, distribution of students in groupings by family income, share of students whose parents did not attend college, the average net price paid by families at various income levels, graduations rates, transfer rates, graduate school attendance and loan repayments. In addition to these elements, the administration is looking to include a very controversial category in the rating system that looks at the employment rate and earnings data of graduates.

While none of these measuring categories are set in stone, the federal government has made it clear that these evaluations will only apply to four-year and two-year colleges, and schools that only offer graduate degrees.

SOURCE: The Washington Post