College Scorecard site lacking for college financial comparison

In his State of the Union, President Obama announced the release of a College Scorecard on the White House website: “Tomorrow, 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,” Obama said. He seemed to convey that this idea was revolutionary and its ingenuity will save middle-class prospective college students from suffering insurmountable debt.

Apparently, the president has forgotten about college websites and the U.S. News college and graduate school rankings and the college comparing sites that already exist.

The College Scorecard is not the only, nor the best tool for finding an affordable college. Its most unique feature, information on the future employment of graduates from each college, does not currently work. The site claims that the U.S. Department of Education is working to gather this information, but realistically, they cannot hope to produce accurate or useful information. Even small colleges typically offer a wide variety of majors. Most majors are potential doorways to multiple careers. This information, assuming a good variety of alumni agree to give researchers the information, will be a scattered, useless jumble of jobs, and it will look similar for nearly every college in America.

The president implied that prospective students would be able to compare the prices of different colleges they are interested in side by side, in order to get the best deal, as if finding the right college was just a matter of bargain hunting. The site does not allow you to do this, though. When you search for colleges with certain requirements such as degree and major and region, it takes you to a list of colleges fitting those requirements. This page shows  the names of each college, their city and state and their enrollment. You have to leave this page in order to see the actual financial information.

The financial information itself also offers little help due to its faulty nature. The information on the costs of colleges takes into account the average amount of financial aid students from each college receive. Every student, however,  will receive drastically different amounts of financial aid, and the only way they will find out how much they will get is by applying for it. College Scorecard also neglects to describe how much financial aid comes from need, and how much from merit, a deciding factor on how much money each student will receive.

This site is just another mediocre college researching site, not the revolution on searching for colleges that people apparently need to bring back the economy, preserve the middle class and save the children. I Have a Plan Iowa is really much better.

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