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Google's College Search Ignores Community Colleges

July 19, 2019

Beginning last year, Google added information about colleges to its search function, meaning that a search for a college now automatically pulls up data, much of it from the federal government, on the institution's selectivity, tuition, graduation rates, student loan repayment rates and expected earnings.

However, the search function does not include community colleges and also gives short shrift to for-profit institutions, noted an article the American Enterprise Institute published this week. The piece by Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at AEI, and Cody Christensen, a research associate there, also said community colleges appear like any other business on Google search, rather than as institutions of higher education.

"Google’s search-display magic is reserved for students interested in just one part of our higher education sector -- the one that mostly caters to traditional, full-time students seeking academic credentials who are often from upper-income households," wrote Delisle and Christensen.

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Paul Fain

Paul Fain, Contributing Editor, came to Inside Higher Ed in September 2011, after a six-year stint covering leadership and finance for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Paul has also worked in higher ed P.R., with Widmeyer Communications, but couldn't stay away from reporting. A former staff writer for C-VILLE Weekly, a newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., Paul has written for The New York Times, Washington City Paper and Mother Jones. He's won a few journalism awards, including one for beat reporting from the Education Writers Association and the Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. Paul got hooked on journalism while working too many hours at The Review, the student newspaper at the University of Delaware, where he earned a degree in political science in 1996. A native of Dayton, Ohio, and a long-suffering fan of the Cincinnati Bengals, Fain plays guitar in a band with more possible names than polished songs.

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