Obama Administration to Unveil New College Comparison Search Tool

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A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA on Monday, April 23, 2012. (Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Obama administration on Saturday will unveil a new online search tool that is aimed at helping potential college students and their families learn much more about campuses, including the financial aid they offer and how much their graduates earn later in life.

Although the new “College Scorecard” will allow consumers to compare various colleges on a variety of factors, it will not provide any ratings or rankings on the order of, for example, U.S. News & World Report.

President Obama said he proposed a ratings system two years ago but, after much study and controversy, his administration abandoned the idea and turned instead to improving existing federal databases for the public.

Department of Education officials said the administration backed away from a ratings system because it proved too complicated to develop and that they were afraid it might confuse consumers. Many colleges and higher education groups had opposed a ratings system, fearing that it would unfairly treat their schools or punish some for enrolling low-income students and less prepared students, who might be less likely to graduate or more likely to default on loans.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.