Department of Education Releases Framework for College Ratings System

The Department of Education finally released the highly anticipated framework for the college ratings system presented by President Obama last year.

While the actual system itself is still shrouded in mystery, there are a few details to be gleaned from Friday’s release. The draft stated that schools will be rated on a scale of performance ranging from high, middle and low.

The Department of Education and the Obama Administration intend to continue their work towards completing the ratings systems, which will be implemented by the start of the next school year if everything remains on schedule. The full scope of the system will encompass the accessibility of schools, affordability and student outcomes. There is also talk of adding in additional data based off of the employment and earning rates of college students after graduation.

The proposed ratings system has been received with mixed feelings and for-profit institutions are said to be opposed to the use of a system like the one proposed. The reason behind these feelings likely comes from fear of losing a portion of the funding that is received from the government, which brings in 86% of the total each year. That’s a lot at stake if these colleges aren’t fitting the bill, which has been a question brought to the forefront of the educational discussion as President Obama began the process of cracking down on for-profit schools with the gainful employment rules introduced in November.

Under secretary of education, Ted Mitchell, has this to say about the new framework draft, “Designing a new college ratings system is an important step in improving transparency, accountability, and equity in higher education. The public should know how students fare at insitutions receiving federal student aid, and this performance should be considered when we assess our investments and set priorities.”

Once the ratings system is complete, the hope is that it will help students and their parents have a better idea of where colleges stand in areas of importance to the student’s future. The amount of funding received from the government will also be impacted by each school’s rating as well.

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