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Is college worth it? A huge new federal database reveals the answer depends on the college...

Stashed in: Young Americans, Education!, Awesome, College, Personal Finance, Student Loans

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This is the first government website I've seen that impressed me a LOT as a webdev. And they released a bunch of data! THANKS OBAMA!!!

Yeah, that's a great website.

Clearly college is not a good value for everyone.

For too many students, college doesn't deliver on those promises. At a quarter of American colleges, the majority of students who got federal financial aid end up earning less than $25,000 per year a full decade after they first enrolled.

That startling statistic comes from an unprecedented trove of data released Saturday by the White House. The Education Department and Treasury Department combined forces to link a huge database of all students who got Pell Grants or student loans since 1996 with their income tax records, producing the clearest picture ever of how students who received federal financial aid fared in college and after.

The numbers show which colleges are living up to their promises to students, and which are not. They demonstrate how hundreds of colleges leave their students struggling long after they enroll — either because they dropped out before graduation or because their credentials turned out not to be worth much in the labor market.

A new tool gives us more information about colleges than ever before.The new data feeds into a revamped tool called the College Scorecard, basically a search engine for colleges. Prospective students can look up the colleges they want to attend and get more information than has previously been available in one place about graduation rates, prices, student loan debt, and earnings after graduation.

Smart critique of the data used by the government, which were based on loan info and therefore excluded higher-income families -- which, guess what, correlates a LOT with future earnings.

So alma mater really does not affect earnings. 

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