Deconstructing and reconstructing the College Scorecard
Russ Whitehurst, Grover J.
Chingos, Matthew M.
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The federal government released earnings data on U.S. colleges and universities for the first-time last month. The new College Scorecard adds an important new dimension to previous government data collections on colleges and universities, which focused on inputs such as number of faculty and student characteristics and the immediate outcomes of retention and graduation rather than longer term outcomes including earnings in the labor market. The authors examine the extent to which the Scorecard provides reliable and valid data, discuss whether it should be used by students and the general public to identify schools that provide the biggest bang for the buck, and identify actions that this or a future administration could take to improve the functions that Scorecard is intended to serve.