On Saturday, President Obama announced the Department of Education’s updated College Scorecard designed to help future college students make data-driven decisions about which college to attend. PayScale had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the new data and test an easier delivery method (an API) for organizations interested in using the federal data to build tools for consumers. PayScale has been producing reports on higher education for many years to help students and parents understand the financial return on investment of a college degree but pulling in additional data from the College Scorecard will make the reports even more robust. “Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education,” stated Obama in his Presidential address.
This emphasis on data transparency, from the President of the United States himself, underscores PayScale’s value proposition in red, white, and blue. “The soaring costs of college and the crushing burdens of student loans have recently moved to the forefront of the American political conversation,” said PayScale Vice President Tim Low. “PayScale is honored to be able to play a role in helping students maximize their investments in higher education by taking formerly subjective decisions and grounding them in real data. Attending a certain college because you are three-generation legacy may be the reason you end up choosing a school — and there’s nothing wrong with that — but for those who want a fuller picture of one of the biggest, most-expensive investments one can make, that information is now available. That’s pretty exciting.”
As part of the new College Scorecard launch, PayScale created a data visualization combining our own college ROI data with net price data by income level from the Dept. of Education to look at how cost and return on investment vary for students from a range of economic backgrounds.
We plan to dig even deeper into the College Scorecard data in the coming months and incorporate some of it into the 2016 College ROI Report launch in the spring.
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