In lieu of regulating universities, Trump administration encourages them to furnish students with information on expenses and results — but some of the data is inaccurate
Want to find out how much it will cost to go to Arkansas Northeastern College? The federal government has a website that promises you can “Calculate your personal net price.” But clicking on that link brings you to the college’s own home page with a fun photo of its cuddly mascot and no immediate sign of anything about cost.
Howard University? The link from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard takes you to a primer about how financial aid works. For the University of St Francis in Illinois, it lands on “page can’t be found.”
The Trump administration is pushing to make college costs, outcomes and other information more accessible as an alternative to regulating institutions with high costs and poor results. But though advocates applaud this transparency — while also largely decrying the rollback of regulation — researchers are discovering that some of the data being made available through or linked from the College Scorecard, the principal federal higher education consumer website, is inaccessible, inaccurate or out of date. Much is provided directly by colleges and universities themselves, with few checks on whether it’s correct — at a time when some schools admit to having falsified information or reported it in misleading ways.