The college shopping sheet offers what you need to know before you go
The Obama administration may not be able to force colleges and universities to rein in tuition but it can force them to be more transparent about the cost of a degree and the options for paying for it. This Seattle Times editorial highlights the value of a new standardized college shopping sheet, administration officials hope public higher education institutions will adopt next year. (Congress is working on legislation requiring schools use the form; the Obama administration's proposal is voluntary.)
The single-page form does more than break down college costs and financing options, information financial aid counselors have always furnished with varying degrees of specificity. A welcome new addition is school graduation rates, which allow prospective students and their families to compare schools based not just on cost, but value. That's no small thing. Students emerging from four-year institutions carry a $25,000 average debtload, making it more critical than ever to daylight college costs and compare schools using apples to apples comparisons.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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