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Federal college ratings plan fizzles

The Obama administration is backing off plans to sort the country’s college and universities into categories based on how data like student debt load, graduation rates and graduate earnings, according to Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Department of Education has been working to develop a system to rate colleges since 2013, when President Obama announced his plan to create a system that would let students and their families compare schools across the country based on cost, student outcomes and other factors.

Most college and university leaders were never enthusiastic about the plan.

Instead of labeling schools as high or low performing, the Department of Education announced in a blog post today that it will release new, online tools this summer students and families can use to compare schools and “reach their own conclusions about a college’s value.”

The department hasn’t announced what information will be part of those tools except to say that some of the data has not been available publicly before.

PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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