Obama Administration Further Dials Back College Rating Plan

The Obama administration has pulled the ratings from its once ambitious college-ratings plan, saying it intends to present new information about the performance of U.S. colleges and universities to empower consumers but won’t judge the schools themselves.

The announcement, which came in a blog post Thursday by U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Education Jamienne Studley, is the latest move to scale back a system President Barack Obama announced in 2013 that called for the federal government to rate colleges based on affordability and quality by the start of the 2015-2016 school year. Mr. Obama said he ultimately wanted to limit federal aid to the weakest performers.

Ms. Studley said the system will make more information available to the public to allow students and parents to make better informed decisions. The White House’s judgment won’t be included. She said the additional transparency would invite greater scrutiny and comparison of schools from a wide range of players.

“This college ratings tool will take a more consumer-driven approach than some have expected, providing information to help students to reach their own conclusions about a college’s value,” Ms. Studley wrote. “And as part of this release, we will also provide open data to researchers, institutions and the higher education community to help others benchmark institutional performance.” <Read more.>

Via Douglas Belkin and Melissa Korn, The Wall Street Journal.