Blog: The Educated Reporter

An incomplete list of resources for reporting on the “productivity” of colleges. Please add ideas and comments.


Education sector report on colleges’ failure to obey consumer information laws:…

Student learning:

Voluntary system of accountability – Some schools are starting to post their CLA results: – voluntary effort by some for-profit colleges to provide data. (non-comparable, though.)

Graduation rates:

(It is arguably fairer and more accurate to use performance against expected graduation rates than the simpler reported numbers.) compares similar schools.

US News uses performance above or below expected graduation rate in its ranking. (Fee possible for accessing this data.)

What will UCLA’s HERI do with its new research on how to better adjust expected graduation rates?

Employment or earnings after graduation:

States are increasingly tracking this, but are very hesitant to provide the information to the public.


Ohio has some. Has anybody gotten them to release usable data? – is trying to collect and publish this data. Keep an eye on them! – “self-reported” earnings by college.

Student loan cohort default rate:

Again, some argue it is fairer and more accurate to look at a college’s performance against its expected student loan default rate – adjusted for the kinds of students it takes in.

Mark Kantrowitz tried this in 2010:…:

Raw data:

Federal reserve’s student loan debt map

Alumni happiness and success: – Alumni donation rate (Fee?)

Scholarly citations

Patents? I haven’t checked to see whether you can mine patents by college, but that might be one way to try.

Regional economic impact:

Lots of studies. Are any any good?

Evaluators who might be willing to share their analysis of the effectiveness of colleges:

Big foundations like Lumina, Gates

Scholarship foundations: are there certain schools at which they won’t fund students?

Employers who offer tuition reimbursement: Intel and others have stopped reimbursing for courses at some schools.

Private lenders: There are some schools they simply won’t make loans to, or charge onerously high rates for.

Armed forces/VA

Big data sources:

Department of Education: NCES, IPEDS.


College Board

General (i.e. not specific to schools) productivity information – NCHEMS has lots of good state-by-state analyses.

If you’ve got a budget

National Student Clearinghouse has lots of interesting data that could be crunched to find interesting results!


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