To even the playing field, the metric used here includes a predicted range where an institution’s loan repayment and default rates should fall. Variables that influence that range include the proportion of students eligible for Pell Grants and the percentage who receive federal loans, as well as other publicly available data points.Each institution is rated against its predicted range on the dashboards, which is a more nuanced and informed way of holding them accountable, according to the report. Federal gainful employment regulations, for example, proposed uniform thresholds for all institutions (although many critics said those thresholds were too low).
These new metrics are the latest in a trend of groups looking for alternatives to traditional measurements. The Obama administration has released its own college scorecard. The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the American Association of Community Colleges have all released their own voluntary accountability frameworks in recent years.In light of soaring tuition prices and underemployment for graduates, it’s good to see that colleges are finally starting to take their responsibility to students and their families seriously.[College quad image courtesy of Shutterstock]