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Google Adds Federal Data to College Searches

June 13, 2018
 
 

Search for a four-year college on Google, and you’ll now be presented with data on admission rates, graduation rates and tuition costs, in addition to the usual link to Wikipedia.

Google said the addition of more information to college search results would make it easier for prospective students to choose the right institution for them.

Writing in a blog post Tuesday, Jacob Schonberg, product manager for Google, said the process for finding information on colleges is “confusing” and that it is “not always clear what factors to consider and which pieces of information will be most useful for your decision.”

Schonberg said Google used data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

Though IPEDS is one of the most comprehensive sources of data on four-year colleges, its numbers are often criticized for not being representative of student populations, particularly at open-access colleges, as IPEDS data tend to reflect only first-time, full-time students.

In addition to data from IPEDS, Google has introduced new college-search features such as lists of notable alumni and suggestions for “similar colleges.”

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