WASHINGTON— U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today major improvements to the College Scorecard, a tool launched by the U.S. Department of Education to help students make informed decisions about their education options after high school. The tool now includes information on 2,100 additional postsecondary education options and more comprehensive information about graduation rates. The Department is also releasing preliminary information on student loan debt by field of study available to download.
“We committed to students that we would continually improve the College Scorecard so that they could access relevant, accurate and actionable data as they make decisions about their education after high school,” said Secretary DeVos. “The updates released today are another step in fulfilling that promise. We look forward to seeing how students, parents, institutions and researchers utilize this important information.”
For the first time, the College Scorecard consumer tool now has information on 2,100 non-degree granting institutions (institutions that only award certificates). Adding these types of institutions into the consumer site gives prospective students and their advocates a more complete sense of all their postsecondary options. Previously, the Scorecard consumer site provided profiles for approximately 3,700 degree-granting institutions.
The College Scorecard now also includes information on graduation rates for non-first-time and non-full-time students and the percentage of students who transferred or were still enrolled in school. Previously, the consumer site only presented graduation rates for first-time full-time students which may not be representative of all students at many institutions.
The Department also updated the College Scorecard to include the most recent data for key metrics such as average annual cost, graduation rate, and student demographics and other data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Since 2015, the Scorecard provided data updates each fall with the last major update conducted in September 2018. Based on user feedback, the Department transitioned to updating major data metrics multiple times throughout the year when subsets of data become available.
Finally, building on President Trump’s March 2019 Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities, the College Scorecard released new preliminary loan debt data by field of study to the College Scorecard data webpage. For years, the College Scorecard provided undergraduate loan debt information at only the institution-level even though the amount borrowed to attend school can vary substantially depending on which program the borrower is enrolled. Institutions are being asked to update their historical enrollment data from which these loan debt metrics are derived. These adjustments will be reflected in a subsequent release of loan debt data metrics by field of study this fall. For prospective students, families, researchers and others interested in examining loan debt data by field of study, please note that the data released today are considered preliminary and future improved versions will be calculated after institutions have time to adjust their historical enrollment data.