Website Allows Consumers to Evaluate the Performance of U.S. Four-Year Colleges
Saturday, October 9, 2010
With less than 60 percent of college and university students seeking four-year bachelor degrees actually graduating within six years, officials at higher education institutions and in state governments are interested in accurately measuring the performance they seek to improve, set achievable targets, and measure progress toward those targets. With a new website, Collegemeasures.org, AIR now provides data so many decisionmakers need.
A joint project between AIR and Matrix Knowledge Group, Collegemeasures.org is an interactive website that creates options for evaluating the performance of four-year public and private colleges and universities in the United States. The site is designed to provide information to help officials improve outcomes and performance at higher education institutions.
The website focuses on providing data for seven key sets of outcome measures, including graduation rates, first-year retention rates, education-related cost per student, cost per degree, student loan default rates, and the ratio of student loan payments to earnings for recent graduates. The website allows users to evaluate the performance of a specific college or university and to compare performance across the 1,576 colleges listed on the website.
Collegemeasures.org has also created a measure for “cost of attrition,” which quantifies the amount of money a college spends to educate first-year undergraduate students (students who are first-time and full-time) who do not begin a second year.
The outcome measures are based on several data sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), The Delta Project, the College Board, and Payscale.com.