The Education Department … asked for the public’s help to develop a new ratings system for America’s colleges and universities. It announced a series of public forums next month in California, Virginia, Iowa and Louisiana, with the goal of having a draft system ready by next fall. By 2018, the plan is to tie some financial aid to schools based on performance using the system.
The ratings system, sought by President Barack Obama, is designed to provide students with more information about schools and help rein in the rising cost of college and make institutions of higher learning more accountable in areas such as graduation rates.
Members of the higher education community have questioned whether it is the federal government’s job to create such a system and whether it would be fair. For example, if graduates’ salaries are factored in, they worry that a school with lower-paid graduates in fields such as social work or with a high number of stay-at-home parents could be unfairly judged. <Read more.>