Colleges are facing lower funding rates and high rates of incomplete degree programs among students. Students are facing higher tuition and the uncertainty that they will be able to find a job in their field when they graduate. While colleges experiment with different ways to bring costs down, students want to be sure that the education they receive is the kind that employers want their new-hires to have. Will colleges survive forever? A team at DevelopIntelligence reviewed recent data.
As a result of the emphasis students are placing on the quality of their college education, several web tools have sprung up that give grades and ratings to individual colleges based on its costs, how well students perform, employment rates, graduation rates, and student loan borrowing levels and default rates. These tools enable students to more easily compare schools’ offerings and to choose which ones they want to invest their time and money in.
One such online tool is from the U.S. Department of Education. It’s called the College Scorecard, and it compares several of the previously-mentioned facts for colleges across the nation. Washington State has Career Bridge that includes much of the same types of information for almost 6,000 education programs in the state. Sixteen other states have also begun to offer these types of tools to potential students.
Colleges are also taking the initiative and offering a closer look at their numbers to future students. They provide these “report cards to justify the cost of an education and to demonstrate the outcomes of specific programs and areas of study,” according to an article on the Boston Consulting Group website.
Another reason this information is becoming more important to colleges is that their funding depends on it. Some states have started distributing funding based on how well educational programs perform. It’s not just the students who are making a choice about where to put their education dollars. Tax dollars are also handed out based on how well a program meets the needs of its students and the employers for which its students work.
So students who plan to enter the field of computer science and who need to learn to code, among other skills) can take a long, hard look at the colleges (like The Georgia Institute of Technology and Udacity, which offer an online master’s degree for $6,600 based on the Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC, model) that offer the program they want and that deliver on the promise they make their students.