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Education Department Says Rating System Will Be Consumer Tool Rather Than Comparison Of Colleges

The federal government will not compare colleges or pass judgment on their relative merits as part of the ratings system the U.S. Department of Education plans to release before the end of the summer, department officials said Wednesday.

But the department isn’t bailing on the idea entirely, as some would have liked.

Instead, the system will be more of a consumer-facing tool that students, their families and high school guidance counselors can use to learn more about how undergraduate institutions stack up, said Ted Mitchell, the under secretary of education.