Grove City College President Paul J. McNulty ’80 will brief Washington D.C. policy-makers next week on the shortcomings of the federal Department of Education’s College Scorecard.
McNulty, a former Deputy U.S. Attorney General, will speak at noon Monday at the Heritage Foundation on “Degrees and Double-Standards: Scoring the College Scorecard.”
The College Scorecard online database was launched in September and touted by President Obama as a comprehensive guide to the costs and benefits of “every” college and university in the U.S. It soon became clear that that claim wasn’t accurate.
Grove City College, which has been granting undergraduate degrees since the 19th century, wasn’t included. Nor were several other nationally recognized and respected institutions of higher learning. The reason: They don’t take taxpayer money. The Scorecard, the Department of Education admitted, only covers colleges and universities that participate in Title IV programs– student loans and grants. As a result, students and families who turn to the federal government for guidance on evaluating potential schools won’t find any information about nationally ranked and highly respected schools like Grove City that don’t take federal money as a matter of principle.
McNulty has stepped forward as a leader on the issue, offering a principled critique of the idea of government ranking or rating colleges and universities and petitioning the Department of Education to either include schools that don’t participate in Title IV or post a disclaimer on the Scorecard website indicating that it is not a comprehensive tool.
“Grove City College has demonstrated that excellence does not have to be bankrolled by the government. We believe the public, upon further review, will conclude that appropriate measures of educational quality do not have to be decreed by the government, either,” McNulty said.
The Heritage Foundation event is likely to draw an audience that includes lawmakers, legislative staffers, think tank scholars and others who either draft or influence federal decision-making.
The talk will be live-streamed at: http://www.heritage.org/events/2015/11/paul-mcnulty