The U.S. Department of Education has recently updated their College Scorecard to include important measures such as cost, graduation rates, and earnings after graduation.  Students and families can also compare scorecards as part of their college decision-making process. 

At Charter Oak State College, we applaud these accountability measures and encourage students and families to use this scorecard before they make their final college choice.  For employers that have tuition benefits, we also encourage you to compare scorecards to ensure your investment in your employees pays off.

Federal and private student loans are now over $1.7 trillion dollars.  Student loans are now greater than credit card debts and auto loan debts.  Keeping college affordable so students do not take on enormous debt is a priority at Charter Oak.  We are committed to not raising tuition next year and have not raised tuition in for three years.  As you look at the college scorecard, Charter Oak is the most affordable option for bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Connecticut.  With inflation at 7.5% costing families an additional $276 a month, we could not in good conscious add to the burden and so we continue to hold tuition flat for the upcoming year.

But cost is not the only measure.  You want to make sure you achieve your goal and graduate.  If you compare Charter Oak to other online colleges such as Post University, Western Governors, Southern New Hampshire, and University of Maryland Global, you will find that Charter Oak has the highest graduation rate of them all (and in some cases, by a very wide margin).

Finally, it is about how much you can earn after graduation.  At Charter Oak, we are unapologetically a workforce college.  You will find that our median earnings of our graduates are higher than more expensive online colleges such as Post University, Grand Canyon, and the University of Phoenix.

Factoring in cost, graduation rate, and median earnings, you will find that Charter Oak State College is the best choice for students that want to pursue an online degree catered to the adult student.  The scorecard shows that we have the same earnings and graduation rate of our sister state universities (Central, Eastern, Southern, Western).  Our regional state universities offer high quality education and are the best options for students that want an affordable on-campus experience.

As Connecticut’s Public Online State College, we believe that these accountability measures are much needed to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  The College Scorecard shows that Charter Oak State College provides the best overall value for the growing number of students considering attending college online for their bachelor’s or master’s degree.  We encourage students, families, and employers to utilize this scorecard as part of the decision-making process by going to the College Scorecard site.

Ed Klonoski is President and Dave Ferreira is Provost of Charter Oak State College.