Members of the PostsecData Working Group Respond to PIRS

Published Feb 18, 2015

by: Members of the PostsecData Working Group

Participants in the PostsecData Working Group, a coalition of higher education organizations committed to higher education data issues, came together to offer feedback on the Postsecondary Institution Ratings System (PIRS). The group made the following recommendations:

  1. Apply data differently to meet distinct purposes: We urge the Department to consider accountability, consumer information, and institutional benchmarking separately and either narrow the scope of the ratings to develop one tool to address one purpose or apply different rating system designs tailored to each purpose.
  2. Disaggregate measures of student success and access by race/ethnicity: We recommend that the rating system include a of measure access defined as the percent of students enrolled from each racial/ethnic group​ and a measure of success defined as graduation rates disaggregated by race/ethnicity.
  3. Measure cumulative student debt and the share of students borrowing: We encourage the Department to incorporate measures of cumulative student loan debt, disaggregated by completion status and program level, into the rating system.
  4. Incorporate labor market outcomes: We support the Department’s efforts to incorporate labor market outcomes into the rating system in a thoughtful way that protects against unintended consequences.

This letter was signed by several Working Group organizations, including the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, IHEP, New America, the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and Young Invincibles.

View the PDF to read the full comments.