Are You Sure that College is Good for You? The Nutrition Facts of Your College

[Image from the article, “Do Colleges Need a ‘Calorie Count'”]

There’s a lot information about college out there. The federal government actually does a great job at collecting a substantial amount of statistics, according to Julie Margetta Morgan, a Policy Analyst with the Postsecondary Education Program at the Center for American Progress. In Morgan’s latest article, “Do College Need a ‘Calorie Count,'” she argues even though the numbers about college exist and are available to the public, students don’t necessarily know where to find it or want to do the work.

We have the highest enrollment rate in college than we’ve ever seen, but many of those enrolled won’t make it to graduation day. Morgan believes offering more complete and accesible information to students searching for their perfect school can help cut out a lot of the guesswork and help guide students to enroll in schools that they can afford, or at least give them enough information so they won’t be as surprised by the bill.

How will we do this? Colleges will each come with label that lists essential facts, much like the nutritional facts on the side of your cereal box. The box will answer the following questions:

  1. What are my chances of finishing this program?
  2. What will it cost me?
  3. What kind of returns (income/employment) should I expect from this program?

Morgan explains these numbers aren’t meant to pick out your dream college, “just as the calorie count on a menu does not decide whether pancakes or Eggs Benedict fit best with your satisfaction or dietary goals.” However, this data will tell a student whether or not a school they are interested in is the one that can help them achieve their goals at a price they are willing to pay.

What do you think of colleges coming with a nutritional fact box? Do you think it would have helped your search for the right college or answer any lingering questions about the college you got accepted to?


“Do colleges need a ‘calorie count?'” by Julie Margetta Morgan. 27 September 2011. The Atlantic. 27 September 2011. <>

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