NAICU Washington Update

U-CAN Participants Top 700, Fall Relaunch Planned

NAICU’s voluntary consumer information initiative, the University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN, www.ucan-network.org), has reached a milestone in campus participation. Nearly 11 months after the free, consumer-focused website was launched, the roster of private colleges and universities signed up to participate has grown to 711 institutions.

 

U-CAN was launched last September with 600 private colleges and universities onboard, and since then the number of participating institutions has grown by 19 percent. The association has 953 member schools, enrolling 85 percent of the nation’s private college students.

 

With a design driven by consumer focus groups, the U-CAN site has been lauded for its rich and consumer-relevant information, and colorful, user-friendly format – by students, parents, college admissions counselors, and policymakers. Since U-CAN went live, more than 358,000 users have visited the site, viewing more than 850,000 pages.

 

U-CAN "2.0" will be launched next month, improving on a college search tool already noted for providing objective, comparable data on the factors that matter most to consumers: student costs broken out by category, tuition trends, admission and graduation rates, average student aid packages, average debt at graduation, and much more.

 

Site enhancements – growing out of user comments and focus groups with parents and students – will make it among the most searchable Web sites of its kind. The improved and expanded site also will offer guidance on how to prepare academically and financially for college, find the right fit, and navigate the admissions and financial aid processes. NAICU is exploring the addition of a new element that would allow consumers to see how colleges spend their tuition dollars.

 

Private colleges and universities that have not yet signed up to be part of U-CAN can get more information by contacting ucan@naicu.edu.

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