Last week, Secretary of the Education Department Betsy DeVos unveiled the revamped CollegeScorecard.ed.gov, a website originally launched by the Obama administration. The online tool now offers students and parents greater transparency into what graduates with specific degrees from specific colleges earn in the first year after graduation.
This information is important, albeit imperfect and incomplete. It allows a student to compare what an english major and a civil engineering major from her college can expect to make after graduation. She is also able to compare the median monthly earnings and monthly loan payments for, say, computer science at Duke University ($8,300/ $82), at Rutgers ($5,858/ $221) and at Florida State ($4,233/ $231).
Student loan debt in this country has reached $1.5 trillion, a crisis which has politicians proposing universal debt forgiveness or free college. These are big ideas for a big problem. Here’s a more modest idea: Schools should offer students as much information as possible about they can reasonably expect on the other side of their college decision and choice of major. Schools should prioritize gathering this information from graduates, finding new ways to capture more data. The relaunched Scorecard is a win for students. Colleges and universities could keep this momentum going by sharing what they know—and improving how they gather—information about what graduates earn and owe.
QuadJobs is an online platform connecting college and graduate students to local jobs. From Saturday night babysitting to moving a couch to helping a local business during a busy time, students find flexible jobs that fit into whatever free time they have. By streamlining the employment connection between campus and community, QuadJobs unlocks jobs particularly well-suited for students’ busy, often changing schedules. The platform tracks every job a student takes and gathers performance reviews. Small jobs matter—they help a student network, earn income, and build a track record of work experience. Local employers can hire with efficiency and confidence.