Bridging the Opportunity Divide

When It Comes to the College Scorecard, How Do the Final Four Schools Match Up?

April 6, 2015
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When It Comes to the College Scorecard, How Do the Final Four Schools Match Up?
In a match-up with its Final Four competitors, the University of Wisconsin doesn't top any category on the College Scorecard. Flickr Creative Commons
The winner may, or may not, surprise you.

Tonight’s competitors in the NCAA championship men’s basketball game may be pretty evenly matched on the court, but they’re far apart when it comes to the cost of a college degree.

A look at Obama’s College Scorecard, an education initiative to make data on college affordability transparent, tells you that students at Duke University pay the most for a college education: $24,134 per year, whereas Michigan State offers the cheapest degree among the Final Four contenders, at an average of only $13,836 per year.

While the University of Kentucky was the tournament favorite and has twice as many championships as Duke, the school has by far the lowest graduation rate among all of the final weekend’s competitors — 57.6 percent — and the worst loan default rate — 6.2 percent of grads can’t make the payments. In contrast, 95 percent of students at the North Carolina university graduate, and only 1 percent default on loans.

Correction: An earlier version of this article reported statistics about the University of Wisconsin Colleges, not the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We apologize for the error.

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