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U.S. Department of Education – Providing Greater Transparency

U.S. Department of Education – Providing Greater Transparency

STL News

January 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC (STL.News) The U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday a new update to College Scorecard that delivers on the Administration’s promise to make higher education more transparent and accountable.  College Scorecard now provides prospective students with information on how well borrowers from individual colleges and universities are progressing in repaying their federal student loans, as well as how overall borrower cohorts are faring at certain intervals in the repayment process.

“Today, we continue to build on the updates we’ve made to College Scorecard over the last several years by delivering even more transparency around student loan repayment,” said Acting Secretary of Education Mitchell Zais.  “Prospective students can now see a comprehensive picture of how borrowers from each institution are meeting their federal student loan obligations.  This is the kind of real, unfiltered information students need to make informed, personalized decisions about their education.”

College Scorecard now shows the percentages of borrowers who fall into eight loan repayment statuses two years after entering repayment: paid in full, making progress, delinquency, forbearance, default, not making progress, deferment, and loans discharged.  This new borrower-based repayment rate provides a more comprehensive picture of repayment and better context than previous versions of College Scorecard repayment rates, which only showed the proportion of borrowers who were and were not making progress.

In addition to these borrower-based repayment rates, College Scorecard data files and application program interface (API) have been updated to include the percentage of student loans paid down by entire cohorts of students 1, 4, 5, 10, and 20 years after entering repayment.  Next week, Scorecard will also update its data files with the borrower-based repayment rates for individual fields of study.  These data elements will join more than 2,000 data elements available to developers and researchers.

Future data on the status of borrowers at each institution will become available through College Scorecard each year, ultimately providing a long-term perspective on how well borrowers from different institutions are able to pay off their federal student loans.

Later this year, College Scorecard will also be updated to include a new metric: the year-over-year change in cost at each institution.  Given that post-secondary students often take several years to complete a credential, this update will allow prospective students to understand the year-over-year cost changes they may expect to see at each institution when determining if the value of that institution matches the overall cost.

These updates follow the total revamp of College Scorecard in November 2019, which allowed users to compare median debt and earnings data by field of study – not just by institution – for the first time.  In December 2020, Secretary DeVos continued to deliver on the March 2019 Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities by including Parent PLUS loan data in College Scorecard for the first time.  The updates made today advance the Administration’s goal of providing transparency and accountability in higher education by empowering students to make informed decisions.

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