ED Updates College Scorecard With Earnings Data, Loan Repayment Metrics

By Hugh T. Ferguson, NASFAA Senior Staff Reporter

The Department of Education (ED) introduced a number of updates to the College Scorecard on Monday with a focus on data related to college costs, graduation rates, and post-college earnings.

The announcement comes with additional metrics that ED said seek to reflect the department’s priority of supporting “inclusive, affordable postsecondary programs that will provide for strong outcomes for students.”

ED has continued to bring updates to the resource in order to make it more user friendly — a change that higher education advocates have called for in order to allow  students to make more informed choices about the prospective programs.

The update also includes the yearly reporting of cumulative student loan debt by institution and field of study within the institution, as well as institution-specific repayment rates.

The scorecard will again include institution-level earnings data, which seeks to give prospective students a better understanding of the career outcomes for alumni.

Congressional Democrats had questioned the previous administration’s decision to remove the metric that allowed users to compare institutional academic and financial outcomes to the national average.

The College Scorecard, in its most recent update, also includes additional information about college graduates' financial well-being by showing how their earnings stack up against a typical worker with only a high school diploma.

Additionally, the announcement highlights a number of “accessible colleges” that are closing gaps in the completion rates among students of color compared with white students and ensuring programs lead to positive career outcomes with manageable levels of debt.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona touted the department’s efforts to update the resource in remarks on Monday at the Association of Community College Trustees conference in Washington.

“The updated and enhanced College Scorecard shines a spotlight on affordability, inclusivity, and outcomes, over exclusivity and colleges that leave students without good jobs and with mountains of debt,” Cardona said. “This update reflects the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to ensuring students remain at the heart of the department’s work.”


Publication Date: 2/8/2022

Stephen B | 2/8/2022 9:16:06 AM

Some thoughts - from a grad/prof lens:
Why can't ED be clearer that their summary info is for undergrad degrees?

Looking at the data by fields of study (which include grad degrees):
The monthly payments are calculated using a 3.73% interest rate - weighted average of 5.28 and 6.28% - and they think the schools are misleading students?
Salaries are only reported for federal loan borrowers. Not Ed's fault (see supra) but the salaries get picked up in the media - and by students? - as salaries for all grads.
There is a number provided for grads, but not borrowers. That would be useful info. They provide that for the undergrads

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