A tip of the hat to CollegeMeasures.org. It’s a new site that attempts to rank and compare about 1,500 private public and private for profit colleges in seven performance areas –graduation rates, first year retention rates, education-related cost per student, cost per degree, student loan default rate and the ratio of student loan payments to earnings for recent graduates.
It’s an ambitious project heavy on data (much of it borrowed from the Delta Project) but pointed in the right direction. Even with the shortcomings (e.g. the definitions need tightening and there is lots of missing data, to name a few) CollegeMeasures can contribute to the discussion on whether colleges are spending funds wisely and how a college education – and student debt – is likely to impact a student’s pocketbook.
Interestingly, CollegeMeasures.org also provides cost-to-degree data. Here in North Carolina the cost-to-degree for UNC-Chapel Hill is $123,764 (96th percentile among public institutions). Cost-to-degree at North Carolina State University is $68,882 (73rd percentile among public institutions).
Which of you parents knew that you were actually paying that much for your son or daughter’s education? I doubt the cost difference between the two schools is really tha large. Something else is likely going on, most differences in definition or accounting.
To access the project web site click here.