College Websites Lack Important Info, Review Finds

When prospective applicants are college shopping, they want the key facts.

What is the tuition?

What percentage of students graduate?

Do alumni land jobs?

For years, when prospective applicants searched the Internet to learn about for-profit schools, as well as some community- college programs, the facts were difficult to track down.

To get the data, consumers often had to talk to a member of a school’s admissions staff, federal education officials said.

Over the summer, all that was supposed to change.

The U.S. Department of Education rolled out a sweeping regulation that included a key win for consumers.

For-profit schools, from culinary academies and medical-billing programs to full-service universities, were required to create a page on their websites that tells students the cost of tuition, books and fees, the amount of debt students are likely to take on, graduation rates and job-placement rates, plus information about what jobs they could get with their chosen degree.

However, many disclosure websites are difficult to find, according to a spot check made by The Arizona Republic of more than a dozen for-profit schools operating in Arizona as well as some community-college non-degree programs.

Other websites are incomplete because some schools’ programs aren’t required to report key data, such as graduation rates. Since facets of the rule are open to interpretation by each school, some information, such as job-placement figures, may be misleading, The Republic found.

Some schools, including Phoenix-based Universal Technical Institute, have complete information posted. Others appear to fall short.

ARIZONA CENTRAL

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