Tuesday, September 15, 2015

College Scorecard

It has previously been very difficult to rank colleges on whether they are a financial disaster. Some reasonable looking schools give students lots of student loans and no more pay than they would get with simply a high school diploma.

The government just made it really easy to figure out whether schools are decent. Now there is a College Scorecard. They took income data from tax returns, so they have a very accurate picture of how much money college graduates make. They also assembled a lot of other information like cost, average debt levels, and graduation rate.

State schools in California still hold up rather well. The big name schools like UC Berkeley, UCLA, or UC Santa Barbara of course have great graduation rates, leave students with good incomes and are relatively cheap. The state college system does a much poorer job, but still is a solid system. For example Fresno State has above average graduation rates, above average incomes for graduates, and a cost which is way below average for in-state students.

A lot of the for profit schools rather predictably do horrible. University of Phoenix for example costs more than average and only about one in eight graduate. Surprisingly those who do graduate make decent income but would clearly have been better off at a state school.

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