Texas Sets New Standard For Higher Education Transparency And Accountability With Compare College TX

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College Measures partners with Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to provide earnings data and performance indicators for state public institutions

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) today launched Compare College TX (CompareCollegeTX.com) an online, interactive tool designed to make the most relevant data about public higher education in Texas available to everyone. The online comparison tool includes comprehensive earnings data from College Measures and aims to increase transparency and accountability for higher education institutions.

Texas is the first state to turn this extensive data into an interactive and engaging one-stop resource for families and education advisors as well as legislators and policy-makers. A comprehensive, mobile-friendly version of the tool allows users to have easy access to the information from their smart phones and other mobile devices.

High-resolution testimonials, soundbites and b-roll is available for download at http://www.higherednewstx.com

“Choosing a college is a big decision. Compare College TX will remove the guesswork by giving prospective students and their families important information including tuition and fees, graduation rates, and salaries for graduates by major. This transparency will help more students earn a certificate or degree and achieve their dreams,” said Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the website allows users to compare Texas higher education institutions side by side on a wide variety of facts and performance measures including average tuition and fees, top degrees awarded, student demographics, four- and six-year graduation rates, the average time it takes graduates to earn a degree and student-to-faculty ratio, among other relevant data. In collaboration with College Measures, the tool provides wage data for graduates by degree level and major for every public institution in the state.

“As students consider these questions about college and begin to act on the answers, colleges and universities will ultimately be held accountable for the quality and cost of the education they deliver. As a result, they’ll work even harder to provide a high-quality education experience to students across the state,” according to Mark Schneider, President of College Measures and Vice President of the American Institutes for Research. “This Texas effort is a model of where the nation should be going.”

College Measures aims to make key data that is otherwise often underutilized or inaccessible available to students, parents, policy makers and higher education institutions in hopes of enabling them to make smarter decisions and create a more efficient, productive and effective higher education system.

“Compare College TX creates an invaluable resource for students and their families to research postsecondary education options and ultimately find the best fit for that individual student,“ said Fred W. Heldenfels IV, Chairman of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “This tool is another step we are taking in our work with students, parents, educators and advisors to encourage a college and career-ready culture and prepare students for the next step in education.”

Students, parents and high school counselors using Compare College TX to research schools are taking note of the earnings data now being accessible. “Finding out the first year earnings of graduates through Compare College TX has been extremely valuable in deciding which school to choose,” said Sandra Staes of Del Valle, Texas, who is helping her daughter Ebonee research colleges. “As a parent, having a better idea that my daughter will be able to sustain herself when she graduates makes a big difference.”

“Compare College TX is a useful tool because it shows how much money you can make with a bachelors degree, as well as salaries for masters and PhD degrees,” said Peter DiCesare, an adviser with the Advise TX College Advising Corps at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas, Texas. “If students can see now the difference in salary beyond a bachelors degree, more of them will make plans to pursue an advanced degree.”

Compare College TX completes the THECB’s suite of online tools designed to help Texas students and their parents plan for college in four stages: inspiration, exploration, information, and application:

Inspiration
Generation TX (gentx.org) – inspires a college and career-ready culture in Texas public schools by increasing awareness and building support for the Texas College and Career Readiness Standards and helping students understand college and career-ready options after high school graduation

Exploration
Compare College TX (comparecollegetx.com) – provides an interactive comparison of facts and performance measures including average tuition and fees, top degrees awarded, student demographics, four- and six-year graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratio and much more

Information
College for All Texans (collegeforalltexans.com) – gives counselors, future students and their parents tips for readying students for college, saving for school tuition, applying for financial aid, and more; and

Application
Apply Texas (applytexas.com) – provides one-stop access for applying to any public university in the state as well as participating community and private colleges.

For more information on Compare College TX, visit CompareCollegeTX.com.

About The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board provides leadership and coordination for the Texas higher education system. Since being created by the Texas Legislature in 1965, the Board has worked to achieve excellence for the college education of Texas students. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's mission is to work closely with policymakers and education stakeholders to develop and implement a higher education framework focused on initiatives to dramatically increase the number of postsecondary completions; keep college affordable and accessible for all Texans; and align higher education outcomes with current and future workforce needs. For more information, visit http://www.thecb.state.tx.us. Connect with us on Twitter (@TXHigherEdBoard).

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Dominic Chavez
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