I imagine I was not the only one who scrambled to the Department of Education website the morning after the #SOTU to check out the new College Scorecard. Here’s how it works, you can select a specific school, or other category like location, size, campus setting, etc. (Note: I found searching by the categories to be a bit unintuitive as far as interface is concerned. I don’t think the Dept. of Ed will be winning any UX/UI awards any time soon.) You then get a screen of results that look like this:
So, you get some fancy gas gauges and some bar graphs with percentages — and that is it. From these (not highly informative) boxes, the student is supposed to glean enough information to put a college on their “list” or remove a college from said list. I say no ma’am.
I understand what the Department of Education is trying to do with the Scorecard, and I do think that we need to do a better job of educating prospective students and their families when it comes to options for higher education. My concern is that while some students will use the scorecard as just one of many sources, others will use it as their only source (I will argue that it will most often be the students who are historically underserved that end up in this situation), which may lead to them selecting a school, or ruling out a school, without gathering all important information. Short story, there is more to selecting a college than data that can be presented in a Kindergarten infographic.
There are some good discussions going on around the scorecard. Mallory Bower shares her thoughts on Career Development and the scorecard here, and the #AcAdv Chat from Tuesday 2/19 discussed the College Scorecard and advising.
What are your thoughts? Has your office discussed the scorecard? What positives do you see in the scorecard? Negatives?