New website helps students research college majors and salaries

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Students have a new interactive tool to research degree programs at Kentucky’s public colleges and universities, allowing them to compare tuition, student debt and salaries for hundreds of occupations before choosing a major.

The tool, called the Kentucky Students’ Right to Know website, offers extensive data on all of the state’s public universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System.

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Students can compare the overall cost of attendance, tuition, financial aid and graduation rates for each institution, among other factors. Users can also review workforce and salary data for particular fields of study.

The state General Assembly passed legislation last year – House Bill 419 – calling on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to collect and publish the data publically. CPE partnered with the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, to develop and launch the site.

CPE President Aaron Thompson commended legislators for their foresight and commitment to helping students navigate important decisions about college.

“Our goal is to empower students with a simple, easy-to-use tool,” Thompson said. “If we want to meet our college attainment goals, we have to offer students as much transparency as possible to help them understand the process and build an educational pathway that meets their needs.”

The online dashboard is designed to serve as a quick reference point for high school students and their families, prospective college students, adult learners, academic advisors or any others considering options for higher education.

Developers designed the website to supplement existing resources online. It also builds on CPE’s return on investment research for college degrees.

Students can review all majors at the institutions, learn about the top occupations for each degree and compare typical salary outcomes for early-, mid- and late-career workers. The website also shows the percentage of students who have received loans for a particular program, the average loan amount and the rates of default.

In addition to outcomes in higher education, students can research outcomes related to career and technical education at the high school level and apprenticeships.

Rep. Bobby McCool, lead sponsor of HB 419, said the website “is ground breaking in transparency, allowing students a clear view of their potential toward achieving a career pathway.”