The authors of a bill to provide powerful new tools for comparing colleges and universities on measures such as total cost, likelihood of graduating and potential earnings, on Monday called the White House’s new college scorecard database a step in the right direction toward giving students the information they need to make more informed decisions about their college education.
US Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.), introduced the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act to make publicly available critical information about American colleges and universities, including earnings data for graduates broken down by program of study.
Wyden and Rubio first introduced the bill in 2012 and the senators reintroduced an updated version earlier this year.
According to Wyden, “Too often students and families need to play a guessing game about whether they’ll be able to pay back their college loans. The administration’s new college scorecard is a welcome initiative that will help students know ahead of time how much a college costs and how much they’re likely to earn after they graduate.”
Wyden added: “The new database lays the foundation to implement the plan I’ve been working on with Sens. Rubio and Warner since 2012 – the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act – which gives students information to help them choose not just the college that best fits their needs, but also pick a major that will give them more bang for their buck down the road. Because student outcomes across program of study can vary even more widely than outcomes across institutions, adding this core metric is essential and I look forward to working with the administration to ensure this critical information is added to the scorecard.”
Rubio noted that, “For many students, picking a school and funding their college educations represent their first life-changing decision and investment. For years, we’ve been pushing for the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act as a way to help students and their families make better informed college decisions and career choices. It’s good the president is listening to the students and parents clamoring for more information, but by going at it alone and not working with Congress, he also left some important data gaps in the plan that need to be filled. Congress should get it together and pass a Higher Education Act that empowers students and parents with better information to help them make decisions about their futures, as the full Student Right to Know Before You Go Act would do.”
In the same vein, Warner said that, “Choosing what college to attend ranks among the most important, and expensive, decisions a young person will make. And, as college costs have soared, and total student debt has climbed to $1.3 trillion, it’s really important that we allow prospective students and their families to make better informed decisions. This is a solid step forward, and we will continue to push to add even more information to this data set to make it even more specific and relevant to different types of students and consumers.”