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As part of mandatory measures under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, the US Department of Education unveiled its College Affordability and Transparency Center website on 1 July 2011. This user-friendly site provides prospective students and parents with details on the broad spectrum of tuition (and fees) across the US higher education landscape. It covers nine types of tertiary-level institutions, ranging from four-year public and private universities to less than two-year private for-profit institutions. It also publishes six lists based on the following categories:
In addition, the site allows users to generate reports by selecting a specific type of institution and criterion. According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, “We [Department of Education] hope this information will encourage schools to continue their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent so students make informed decisions and aren’t saddled with unmanageable debt”.
One limitation: the website only provides information on institutions with the highest and lowest tuition. Nonetheless, the Department of Education offers detailed information on every accredited US institution regarding tuition, fees, estimated student expenses and programmes on its College Navigator website.
US Department of Education – College Affordability and Transparency Center