Washington -- As promised, the U.S. Education Department Wednesday released an interactive College Scorecard that provides students and their parents with data such as cost, graduation rates and percentages of students defaulting on loans for thousands of institutions -- small and large, public and private. President Barack Obama mentioned the scorecard in his State of the Union Address Tuesday, and the database went live on Wednesday.
"We know students and families are often overwhelmed in the college search process - but feel they lack the tools to sort through the information and decide which school is right for them," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "The College Scorecard provides a snapshot about an institution's cost and value to help families make smart decisions about where to enroll.
During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama said the federal government has made college more affordable through tax credits, grants, and lower cost loans, but that institutions of higher learning need to do their part.
"Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it's our job to make sure that they do," said Obama, pointing to the College Scorecard as a way for parents and students to compare costs of institutions of higher learningSome of the listings in the newly minted College Scorecard are missing information, such as graduation rates. Information on job prospects and earnings potential for graduates of the evaluated universities has not yet been compiled, according to the Education Department.
Here are some of the findings for Louisiana schools:
- ?Delgado Community College: Average net price (reflecting tuition,? room and board, if applicable, minus scholarships) was $6,033 in 2009, down 3.6 percent from two years earlier. The graduation rate was a low 2.6 percent of full-time students within 150 percent of the expected time for graduation, while 20.2 percent transferred to other colleges. Nearly, 19 percent of students who took out loans defaulted on them, compared to 13.4 percent nationally. Families typically borrow $8,250 in federal loans.
- ?Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge: The average net price in 2009 was $10,629, a decrease of 3.3 percent since 2007. Nearly, 60 percent of full-time students received their bachelor's degree within six years, which the Department said is on the high side of colleges evaluated. The default rate on federally sponsored student loans was 4.9 percent on debt averaging $15,000.
- ?Tulane University: Average net price in 2009 was $28,855 a year, reflecting an increase of 12.4 percent between 2007 and 2009. The Education Department said graduation data wasn't available at the time the Tulane report was compiled. It said that 5 percent of student loan borrowers at Tulane defaulted on their loans within three years of entering into the repayment phase - compared to 13.4 percent nationally. Families typically borrow $19,758 in federal student loans for Tulane undergraduate studies, setting up repayment plans after graduation of $227.38 per month.
- ?University of New Orleans: The average net cost was $7,833 in 2009, up 8.5 percent from 2007. The graduation rate was 38.1 percent, which the Education Department says is in the low range for four-year colleges. The federal student loan default was 9.6 percent on federal loans averaging $11,750, or $135.22 on average per month per loan recipients.
- ?Southern University of New Orleans: The average net price was $10,974 a year in 20009, an increase of 8.7 percent from 2007. The report doesn't provide graduation rates. It said that 17 percent of students defaulted on their student loans, which average $15,921.
- ?Our Lady of Holy Cross College: Average cost of attending was $17,284 a year in 2009, up 66.4 percent from 2007. Graduation rates weren't listed. The loan default rate is 5.8 percent on federal loans averaging $17,603.
- ?Loyola University of New Orleans reported average net price of $22,808 in 2009, an increase off 2 percent since 2007. No graduation data. A little over 4 percent default on loans, averaging $19,231, or $221.32 per month.
: Average net price was $12,355 in 2009, about the same as in 2007. Graduation rate is 24.5 percent, on the department's low side. The loan default rate is 10.9 percent, with families typically taking out $19,000 in federal loans. Dillard University : Average cost was $18,127 in 2009, down 1.7 percent. Nearly 55 percent of undergraduate students graduate, which is in the Education Department's? medium range. Nearly, 11 percent of federal student loan borrowers default on Xavier loans, which average about $19,000. Xavier University