Good morning. So as most of you know families with college-bound students are
often bombarded with averages. Some of them not very positive
about graduation rates or student debt. These numbers vary by
student in my school and so at College Abacus we focus on the
individual our free site empower students with
personalized information about financial aid at different schools.
College Abacus enable students to compare their official financial aid
estimates across more than thirty six hundred institutions. For almost all of these schools College
Abacus is the only way to access estimates in Spanish. Our online tool gather students
estimates from college web sites in real time, using federally-mandated net price
calculators. CBS News has compared College Abacus’s
impact on college to Zillow’s on real estate or Kayak’s on
travel. With our new data jam inspired US government open data feature I know it’s a mouthful our results page
contextualize these estimates providing students with information
four-year graduation rates, loan default rates and the SAT and ACT scores of accepted students this is the
first time all this data has been accessible to students in an
individualized fashion and we will show you that today. So today first I wanna talk to you about
Akeelah Anderson the title character in one of my favorite
movies, Akeelah and the Bee. So apologies the movie ends with Akeelah
winning the Scripps National Spelling Bee, sorry it’s for the narrative you gotta
forgive me and returning victorious to her inner
city public school in South LA. So let’s fast forward six years and take
a look at Akeelah’s college prospects using College Abacus.
So Akeelah might begin her college search by looking local, so we called her individualized
financial aid estimates for her local community college, a public
university, and a private college near her home in
Los Angeles. Now accuse family might struggle to pay Pomona’s sticker price but as you can see here with
financial aid you would actually pay only twenty three
hundred dollars more to attend Pomona then she would to attend community
college. So encouraged by results from her local
search Akeelah might expand her list to include prominent historically black colleges and
universities on the East Coast. Howard and Dillard have similar sticker
prices as you can see there but Akeelah’s financial aid packages at
each school indicate that Howard would actually be
three times the price of Dillard. So now for the sake of argument let’s assume
that Akeelah, despite her impressive spelling bee win, actually wants to be an engineer. So elite stem schools often can be price
competitive with local two-year options. Akeelah’s estimate at Los Angeles Mission
College was 2,114 dollars. As you can see here at MIT she’d paid 2350. Low-income students like a Kia Optima
under match an opt-out applying to selective
expensive schools. College Abacus enable students like
Akeelah to identify schools that they can afford.
So I’d like to announce that we have just launched our US government open
data feature which we built to enhance our results
page. At the Education data jams this past December we enjoyed conversations with folks at
the Department of Ed, KIPP charter schools, College Possible, Apply
Kit, Tractus Insight, and College Summit as
well as many others. These new partners provided key insight
about the kinds and information that need to stand beside personalize net
price to enable families to understand available
college options and their relative costs. As I mentioned
earlier the individualized estimates on College Abacus
come from the net price calculators mandated by
the higher education opportunity act 2008 and they are now posted on almost every college website this
additional data on graduation rates on SAT and ACT scores and loan defaults
comes from the iPed’s an FSA databases that are made available to us by the Department of
Education. So at College Abacus we believe that students and families deserve easy access to information about the cost of college so they can make apples-to-apples
comparisons. For us college access means that every student
who works hard, who plays by the rules should be able to easily find their
way into a college that’s affordable for them. We’re excited to join with the Obama
administration and with all of you here today to help improve college access in America.
Thank you.