New federal ranking system for colleges, universities could jeopardize funding

A new proposed government rating system for colleges and universities could have an effect on how much in federal grants and loans Michigan schools receive. The rating system would be based on factors such as affordability, how many students graduate, how much debt students accumulate, and how much money students earn after they graduate.

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University are just some of the state schools that could be affected. The rating system is meant to hold schools accountable and provide prospective students with a better idea of which higher education institutions provide the best education. Until now, private companies made that information public.

President Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Education to have the rating system in place by 2015. If Congress approves, the ratings would impact the allocation of $150 billion in federal aid. Schools that earned a high ranking would be able to offer more student aid than those with a lower ranking.

With tuition costs continuing to increase, the new system is designed to determine which universities and colleges can give students the best value. The rankings could provide incentives for colleges to hold down costs and give more students access to a college education.