State of the Union Highlights Higher Education

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a series of proposals to increase access to a high-quality education. 

Among them were initiatives to make quality early education accessible to every child, to redesign the country’s high schools to meet the needs of the real world, and to tackle the spiraling cost of college. 

President Obama stated, “Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education.  It’s a simple fact that the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class.  But, today, skyrocketing costs price too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.  Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we’ve made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years, but taxpayers can’t keep on subsidizing higher and higher costs for higher education.  Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure that they do.  So, tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.  And, tomorrow, my Administration will release a new College Scorecard (see below) that students and parents can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.”

A day after the State of the Union address, the Department released an interactive College Scorecard, supplying students and families the critical information they need to make smart decisions about where to enroll for higher education. 

The scorecard — part of the President’s continued efforts to hold colleges accountable for cost, value, and quality — includes five basic pieces of data about an institution: costs, graduation rate, loan default rate, average amount borrowed, and employment.  The data will be updated periodically, and the agency plans to publish information on earnings potential in the coming year.

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