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College Scorecards

By: TxCAN   |   March 2022

Learn about The College Scorecard and Texas CREWS, both free scorecard tools that easily allow college access professionals, students, and families to look up and compare institutions.

How do you help students find their best-fit college or university? Given the fact there are over 4,000 institutions of higher education in the United States this is no easy task. It is unrealistic to expect college access professionals, much less students, to be familiar with the details and degree offerings of each of these colleges and institutions. So how do you proceed? Well, one resource created by the Department of Education is the College Scorecard.  
The College Scorecard, which was updated at the beginning of 2022, is a collection of data for all institutions of higher education in the United States that offer either a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree. Each institution has an entry with the following information:

  • Costs – annual costs of attendance
  • Graduation & Retention – full and part-time retention
  • Financial Aid & Debt – typical student debt profile and repayment rates
  • Typical Earnings – earning after graduation
  • Study Body – student enrollment demographics
  • Test Scores & Acceptance – average admissions test scores and acceptance rate
An example of an institutional profile can be seen here for can be seen here for Texas State University. Each school’s profile, when applicable, shows where it falls in relation to all other similar institutional types. Profile pages also include links to the institution’s website and the FAFSA application page.

This information alone is extremely helpful, but what makes the College Scorecard a truly valuable tool is its search and compare feature. Searching on the College Scorecard website can be done in two easy ways. The first is to search broadly by either institution or by field of study. This search method will either pull individual schools by name or a list of all institutions that offer the selected field of study. The second option is to choose the custom search feature. The custom search feature allows you to select options for the following categories: After searching through results, it is possible to compare institutions or fields of study. The compare feature pulls up every category and allows for side-by-side comparison. Currently, it is not possible to download the comparison pages, but it is possible to save the URL or share the page to popular social media sites.

A similar search tool dedicated solely to Texas Institutions is the Texas Consumer Resource for Education and Workforce Statistics (Texas CREWS). Texas CREWS is a collaborative project run by the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and it offers the following information:
  • School Profile – tuition, SAT scores, and graduation rate
  • Median First Year Wages by Degree Level – can be selected for each major
  • Three Programs with Highest Median First Year Wages
  • Compare Median Wages with Statewide Median Wages
  • Graduates by Degree – number of graduates, percentage with loans, average loan amount, median wages
The data on their website can be viewed on an annual level from 2010-2019, compared to other institutions, and it can be downloaded for easy review. It is also possible to review information for majors and degree programs. Texas CREWS has a special feature not available in the College Scorecard that can be used by students to search for majors related to specific career fields. 

The College Scorecard and Texas CREWS are powerful tools that should be included in all college access professional’s toolkits. Their easy-to-use and easy-to-understand platforms can be used broadly to quickly generate a list of certificate and degree offerings that can be personally tailored to filter by the most relevant information. The data they provide can also help students make informed decisions about future career earnings, cost of attendance, and student debt in the context of multiple institutions and fields of study. If you are interested in learning more about the College Scorecard or Texas CREWS, check out some of the resources listed below:

The Texas College Access Network (TxCAN) connects and supports college access initiatives across Texas, with the goal of increasing access to college and certificate programs.