On Sept. 12, President Barack Obama unveiled his College Scorecard system, which aims to give high school seniors all the information they need about colleges and universities in one place.
The scorecard provides details on how to pay for school by giving a percentage of how many students receive aid and the amount of debt accumulated by the time they leave school.
“Basically, we as a country have turned higher education into the most complicated product a consumer will ever buy and then expected you to figure out all the details,” Eric Johnson, assistant director for policy analysis and communications in UNC’s financial aid office, said.
Instead of ranking colleges like other college ranking sites, the scorecard gives the basic information students and parents need, such as graduation rate, typical total debt after graduation and average earnings of students 10 years after they enroll in the school.
But with only basic information and no ranking system, students and parents might find it hard to compare schools across the board.
Johnson said the scorecards can do great things if people know that they exist.
“I’ll definitely promote the scorecard when I do presentations across the state for students who are still trying to decide where to go to college,” Johnson said.
UNC’s scorecard reports 75 percent of students attending UNC earned, on average, more than those with a high school degree and the University has a 90 percent graduation rate.
The scorecard also reports the average total debt of students is $15,906 and 21 percent of students have families with incomes of less than $40,000.