- Google will enter the college exploration process by offering information about institutions when their names are entered into its search function.
- According to MarketWatch, the tech giant reported that the data about four-year colleges and universities will include specific information about costs, financial aid, admissions and graduation rates and graduates' income levels.
- Google will get the data from sources such as the federal government's College Scorecard, which the Trump administration says its planning to enhance, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
MarketWatch said Google's move is the latest in a growing number of sources for more information about colleges and the value they offer students. It comes at a time when traditional college rankings are being increasingly viewed as lacking key information about institutions and the success and satisfaction of their graduates.
A variety of research has shown that high school students want better information about college value.Inside Higher Education reported earlier this month that legislation making more data about graduate outcomes available to students, institutions and higher education policymakers has gained support in Congress. The College Data Transparency Act would overturn a ban that has limited collection of student data; advocates say the bill has bipartisan support and backing from the higher education community.
The data would be reported to the National Center for Education Statistics for post-college outcome reports and summaries, according to a fact sheet about the proposed legislation. Critics, however, are still concerned that publication of the data would infringe upon student privacy, particularly for undocumented students.
There are growing efforts to provide students better information. For example, the Department of Education has tried to provide better information through the College Scorecard since the Obama administration developed it in 2015, and the Brookings Institution has developed its rankings using that information and other material. States such as Texas also have attempted to work around the lack of data.