White House debuts tool to compare the cost of colleges - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

White House debuts tool to compare the cost of colleges

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"And tomorrow my administration will release a new college scorecard that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck," President Obama promised in his State of the Union address.

A promise he made good on. The Obama administration debuted a new website where parents and students can compare the cost of colleges.

The White House says this is all about keeping colleges accountable. It's simple and very easy to use.

It shows not just how much it will cost you to attend the school you search for -- but also the average debt you'll rack up and what percentage of students actually graduate.

For students and parents, deciding which college to apply to can be a tough and expensive decision.

"It's always something to consider when you're looking at schools is how much it's going to cost you or how hard it is to get a loan -- what life will be like after you graduate," says ASU junior Zahra Talieh.

The government's new "college scorecard" aims to answer those questions, letting you compare schools based on a simple idea -- where you get the most value for your dollar. These ASU students say they like the idea.

"Of course I mean you kind of want to know what you're getting yourself into -- when you say I'm going to this school -- you want to know how much you're going to be spending a year," says ASU sophomore Tahlia Grassie.

"If you were to have the numbers in front of you, so accessible, I don't see why you wouldn't take advantage of that opportunity," says Talieh.

How did Arizona's colleges stack up? We used it to compare some Arizona universities.

It showed the costs for per year for in-state students varied from just over $10,000 at ASU to almost $17,000 at Grand Canyon University.

Camelback High School counselor Sarah Lawrence says it's a great resource for parents getting ready to send their kids to college.

"You're choosing a university that you're going to spend anywhere from 15-thousand to 50-thousand a year or even more," says Lawrence. "You want to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck."

The Department of Education will soon add the kind of jobs students get after graduated and how much they make.

College Scorecard: http://collegecost.ed.gov/scorecard/index.aspx

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