COLLEGE RATING SYSTEM
In a Federal Register notice published October 30, the Department announced four public forums across the country to gather public input about President Obama’s proposals to address rising college costs and make college more affordable for American families. The first forum was held at California State University at Dominguez Hills on November 6; future forums will be held at George Mason University (VA) on November 13, the University of Northern Iowa on November 15, and Louisiana State University on November 21. These forums coincide with the Department’s upcoming Request for Information to ask experts to weigh-in on methods for creating a college rating system that would better inform students and encourage institutions to improve. “One of the best ways to address the challenges to our higher education system is through shared input,” Secretary Duncan asserted. “We plan to engage as many stakeholder groups and individuals as possible to help us develop proposals that are useful to students and take into account the diversity of America’s colleges and universities.”
Those who wish to present comments or feedback at a public forum should register by sending a message at least three days prior to the forum to firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-in registrations will also be accepted for any remaining time slots, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each participant will have five minutes. Transcripts of the forums will be posted on the College Affordability web site. For those unable to attend a forum in person, ideas may be submitted to email@example.com. Also, anyone can join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #valuecollege.
Early next year, the Department will also host a technical symposium where external experts can engage in further discussion and deliberate on these issues in depth. The agency will then publish a summary of the recommendations that were developed as a result of the Request for Information and the symposium, as well as other resources identified by those participating in the symposium, on the College Affordability web site. The Department will use all the feedback it receives to inform the development of college rating metrics, which it will share in the spring for public comment.