Students Applaud Newly-Proposed Federal College Rating System; Want their Voices Heard According to New Data from Chegg

Santa Clara, Calif. – Jan. 21, 2015 – Chegg (NYSE: CHGG), The Student Hub, today announced the results of a new poll of high school and college students that asked for opinions and attitudes towards the Department of Education’s proposed Federal College Ratings system.

A majority of students see value in a new rating scheme, with 51% of high school students indicating they would use it as a resource. However, the proposal does not include a student satisfaction metric that would give prospective students insight from current students and alumni. When asked what criteria students use or would use in making their enrollment decision, nearly 80% of high school and 70% of college students ranked this metric as being relevant, with nearly 60% of all students ranking the criteria as “very important” to their decision.

“Improving student outcomes starts by improving inputs. If this proposal helps students better understand the real cost of their education, their likely earning power based on their school and major, as well as their ability to pay for it once they graduate, then it can help students and their families make better decisions,” said Dan Rosensweig, CEO of Chegg. “That said, the proposed metrics lack a student voice and set the bar too low to spur the needed structural changes in curricula, use of online technologies and institutional costs that would make college accessible to more students and improve lifetime earning potential.”

Announced in December 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s proposal seeks to rate colleges as “high-performing, low-performing, and those falling in the middle” across the broad categories of Access, Affordability and Outcomes.

For both high school and college students, the two most important metrics for rating Outcomes are:

  • Percentage of graduates working within their field of study 1 and 5 years after graduation (72% of high school students said this was very important along with 73% of college students);
  • Overall ability of graduates to repay their student loans (70% of high school and 67% of college students said this was very important).

Additional relevant findings include:

  • Even in high school, students are career- and academically-minded: When asked about Access criteria, high school students top three measures were:
  1. School’s ability to provide academic support (72% of high school students said this was very important)
  2. School’s ability to provide career guidance (67% of high school said this was very important)
  3. School’s ability to offer internships (60% of high school students said this was very important)
  • The data revealed that several weeks after its announcement, only 11% of high school and 13% of college students were even aware of the proposed system.

Also noteworthy, 93% of high school students and 86% of college students find a school’s “net price” (what students actually pay) to be very relevant to their school selection criteria. However, only 65% of high school and 62% of college students are interested in knowing the average net price for students from similar socio-economic backgrounds, potentially revealing that many students are unaware of the fact that most students pay different amounts for tuition.

To learn more about these results email press@chegg.com.

Through its interactions with over 15 million high school and college students, Chegg has deep insight into the student landscape. As a student-first company, Chegg’s mission is to deliver tools and services to help this group be successful in their education as well as keep a constant pulse on the collective nationwide student mindset and represent their interests.

 

For this poll, Chegg surveyed 922 college students attending 2 year & 4 year schools and 446 high school students between January 6, 2015 and January 10, 2015 from Chegg’s proprietary national panel of 15,000 students. Data was weighted and quoted to national norms.

About Chegg

Chegg puts students first and is proud to have saved students and their families more than $500 million in 2014 alone. As the leading student-first connected learning platform, Chegg’s Student Hub makes higher education more affordable and more accessible, all while improving student outcomes. Chegg is a publicly-held company based in Santa Clara, California and trades on the NYSE under the symbol CHGG. For more information, visit www.chegg.com

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