EDUCATION DIVE: Waiting for the ratings: A primer on Obama’s long-brewing higher ed plan

Career College Central Summary:

  • Ever since President Obama announced in August 2013 his intention to develop a college ratings system, the higher education world has been waiting for the details. The release of a framework last month included a few, but many questions and concerns remain.
  • Now, college administrators wait for the next promised deadline — the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, when the ratings are supposed to be released.
  • Here's what we know for now:
  • The details

    • The U.S. Department of Education's December release of a framework came after several delays. According to the department, the intention is to create a system that will put colleges into three categories: good, bad, and in-between.
    • Specifically, the department is considering a proposal to set a “substantial employment” threshold for graduates of a given college — maybe 200% of the poverty-level income. The substantial employment calculation, plus an analysis of long-term earnings of graduates, would be used to come up with a rating for each college’s so-called “labor market success.”
    • The ratings system is also expected to use measurements of college access, such as the net price to attend a certain school and the number of students receiving federal Pell grants. Other factors expected to be considered include the number of first-generation students and family incomes.

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