Response to “College scorecard an improvement”

Anthony, Daily Reader via website

Many of the scorecard’s numbers are misleading. Most striking is that they are not comparing apples to apples. For example, the scorecard compares post-college earnings to all 25- to 34-year-old high school graduates, who earn an average of $25,000 per year. Yet the post-college earnings data are based only on students who were on aid while attending college — not those who paid full price for their education. 
 
It also focuses on alumni ten years after graduation. This could include stay-at-home mothers caring for their children, graduate students, volunteers working for nonprofits and more. It is interesting that the government would do this but not include non-working folks when it calculates national unemployment figures. 
 
I have a special note with regard to stay-at-home mothers — why is the government looking at their individual income rather than looking at their household’s income? Would the president say that we should not provide federal student loans to future mothers who choose to stay home to raise their children? Maybe he thinks these women should
not go to college because they might not personally make more than those with only a high-school education. 
 
Another section that strikes me as odd is the “Students Paying Down Their Debt” percentage. Why not just include the graduates’ loan default rate? If someone is in graduate school, that person most likely deferred his or her loan and will not make a payment on it in the first three years, which is the “population” the Paying Down Their Debt percentage measures. The same would be the case if the graduate were part of a program that lets you forgive or defer your loans if you work for an underprivileged public school. This “Students Paying Down Their Debt” figure seems useless, whereas the loan default rate would be much more telling. 
 
In general, the scorecard website is either misleading or overly simplistic, without explaining much.