College Scorecard lacks a 'value-added' measure

Dive Brief:

  • The Obama administration’s College Scorecard highlights institutions whose graduates earn a lot of money, but critics say it doesn’t separate correlation from causation.
  • The New York Times reports the schools whose graduates earn the most only accept the most talented students, revealing little about what the institutions added to those students’ lives.
  • A Brookings rating that factored in value added, regardless of major, found Colgate University, Carleton College, and Washington and Lee University at the top of the list.

Dive Insight:

College ranking systems reveal the biases of their creators. The Obama administration’s College Scorecard has been criticized for prioritizing pay over anything else students might get from an education. The scorecard’s data dump gives parents and students plenty of information, but little context for why it might be so. Historically black colleges and universities, for example, which often enroll high numbers of low-income students, have damning stats when it comes to graduation and student loan default rates. But some say expectations should be adjusted based on circumstances.

Follow on Twitter

Filed Under: Higher Ed Policy & Regulation