A new report released today by Young Invincibles argues that a ban on collection of student-level data by the Department of Education prevents policy makers and students from understanding which college majors and programs have the best outcomes in terms of salary, job placement and loan repayment.
The organization released the Student Agenda for Postsecondary Data Reform after about two years of meeting with student groups on college and university campuses around the country to better understand what kind of information about higher education students want to access. The report also calls for expanding available information on college majors; collecting data on all students, not just first-time and full-time students; and making data available to students to inform their choices on campus.
A number of associations representing higher ed institutions and financial aid administrators have come out in support of repealing the ban on a student unit record database. Supporters of the ban, including some Republican lawmakers and private nonprofit institutions, have cited costs and privacy concerns in supporting the continued ban.