The White House released a new college calculator tool that would make any college grad wish they were a high school senior again.
A student can now compare not only the cost of tuition but also the average salary they can expect from their major depending upon the school from which they graduate.
The website, College Scorecard, takes information from the IRS to determine how well off people are post graduation. Essentially, a high school senior now has access to data that could show whether a pricey-private school is truly worth it in comparison to a cheaper alternative.
The data collection is a resource to which previous and current college students never had easy access. Now however, students can even know the average amount of debt they can expect from a college before applying. Knowing this type of information could drastically change how a student looks at their choice of university, especially given the high rising cost of tuition at many colleges.
Now if only the damn kids would use it
So much is tucked away into this website that, for prospective college students, it may be a little overwhelming. In fact, it might not be college grads who most benefit but maybe the parents of college-bound students, given the sheer amount of fiscal info present in the website.
Although parents normally take the lead on college finance issues, that doesn’t mean a senior in high school shouldn’t look at this website. Because you can search by major, it is possible to determine whether you would really want to major in art, as opposed to a more well-paying field given the money you’ll be putting down. Granted, the complete opposite situation is possible where you can finally justify an art major by finding a college where graduates were getting a successful return on their education investment.
A high school senior will forever be plagued with the question “What do you plan on studying in college?” If you’re unsure of yourself, this question always leads to awkward interactions. It’s a hard choice trying to determine what to do with the rest of your life. Now at least, a senior can play out all the fiscal possibilities from every major out there.
In hindsight, maybe that philosophy degree was a bad plan
For current college graduates, however, the release of this data is more than sad. Knowing that you could be making more money for the same major at a cheaper college does not sound like a fun thing to go through. And given the fact that many students are already too painfully aware of what debt they will have after graduation, seeing that information perfectly laid out for a new generation before they even apply must be hard.
But before you go on to curse the youths of the next generation for all the cool things they get, don’t so easily disregard the practicality of these tools for college grads as well.
Here’s the thing, the data is just too interesting for a college grad to ignore. Why wouldn’t you want to know what your average expected salary will be ten years after college? That type of information can prepare you for that ten year plan that your adviser was constantly harping you on.
Like it or not, data like this gives you tools to prepare for the future. It’s just a simple matter of looking for it.