Friday, December 13, 2013
By JAY HABERLAND
Regarding "Our View: College-aid accountability shouldn't wait until 2018" (Aug. 24): President Obama's plan for the federal government to rate the affordability and performance of the nation's colleges and universities is unnecessary and will be costly to both the nation's schools and to taxpayers.
His proposal appears to be yet another attempt by this president to deflect public attention from pressing issues such as the crisis in Syria and the myriad of scandals plaguing his administration.
The plan is unnecessary because extensive information concerning a school's performance and affordability is already widely available and much of this information can be obtained at no cost to the prospective student or his family.
Each year schools must file with the Internal Revenue Service a Form 990, which provides detailed financial information about the organization, even to the level of including the compensation of the senior staff.
Numerous sources such as U.S. News & World Report and Campus Explorer, to name but two, provide very detailed information concerning tuition and fees, student body demographics, graduation rates, financial aid and student life. The information currently available makes it very easy to compare institutions.
It seems reasonable to me that any student qualified to attend college should be willing to put forth a little effort to determine what schools offer the best deals, even if only to read the annual rankings of schools that provide the best value.
The president's plan will be expensive for the nation's colleges and universities because the government will require a whole new level of information gathering and reporting.
The plan will be expensive for the taxpayer because the Obama administration will create a new government bureaucracy to collect, process and report on the information required to be provided by the colleges and universities.
Given the current issues surrounding the IRS, I also have extreme concern that the ratings provided by the Obama administration will be free from bias.
Jay Haberland is a resident of Round Pond.