The Department of Education is expanding its College Scorecard to provide more information for parents and students during their college search, but they will have to wait about two more months to access what may be the most prized data: debt loads by student major at individual institutions.
That data is currently available on in a preliminary form that uses massive amounts of computer storage and therefore accessible primarily by researchers.
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When the expanded debt data is accessible for consumers on the College Scorecard website, it is expected to be linked to future earnings by major. That will be especially valuable for parents and students, says Mark Kantrowitz, the publisher and vice president of research at Savingforcollege.com.
He explained: “To illustrate the value, Harvey Mudd is often listed as the Liberal Arts college with the highest average income after graduation, but that’s because they mainly graduate students in STEM. It does not mean that English majors should go to Harvey Mudd. With the new data, one will be able to create ranked lists of colleges based on the performance of specific majors … We’ll know which colleges have the highest debt and which have the highest income for English.”