A loyal EMUTalk.org reader sent me a link to this freep article, “Business group’s site keeps scorecard to help compare state universities.” Here are the opening paragraphs:
The nonprofit Business Leaders for Michigan hopes a new, comprehensive website tracking Michigan’s public universities will help parents and students with decisions about which college to attend.
But the group, which unveiled the website Wednesday afternoon in front of a joint meeting of the Michigan House and Senate higher education subcommittees, also hopes it will guide legislators as they decide on funding for the universities.
The site compiles data across multiple categories, looking at state support, number of degrees granted, net cost and about 25 other categories and compares them to peer institutions across the country.
You can take a look at the results of what this group found here. The basic point of the web site/scorecards is to convince the legislature and other stakeholders that funding Michigan’s universities is a way to help the state economically.
But two observations I thought I’d add. First, I first came across this report (but just didn’t get around to posting about it) via this article in annarbor.com, “How does a Michigan college education stack up? New scorecard compares state colleges to national peers.” If you just read this article, you’d think that the main point of this scorecard thing was to explain how the University of Michigan and only the U of M compared to other research universities. A classic example of the U of M/Ann Arbor world view.
Second, the EMU scorecard is kind of interesting. A few highlights for me:
- Our graduation rate is kind of low, but our retention rate (which is the percentage of full-time students who return from the previous year) is pretty good, and we also award a lot of degrees and a lot in what they describe as “critical skills degrees.”
- The administrative spending per full-time student is significantly higher than the national average. It’s twice as expensive as it is at Central Michigan, more than Western, more than Grand Valley.
- Even with efforts at keeping tuition down, EMU is still more expensive than its peer institutions around the country. Of course, that’s true for all the universities in Michigan because of a lack of funding from the state.