Comment on FR Doc # N/A


January 31, 2014

Mr. John Q. Easton
Institute of Education Sciences
555 New Jersey Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20208-5500

Dear Mr. Easton:

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to President Obama’s proposed postsecondary institution rating system as mentioned in the December 17, 2013 Federal Register. I applaud the Administration’s efforts to hold colleges and universities accountable, but before we move expeditiously to enact another educational assessment, I would ask the Administration and U.S. Department of Education to carefully consider that a “one-size fits all” set of measures will not adequately assess the value of the diverse number of colleges and universities in the United States, particularly for such institutions like Shaw University. Traditionally, Shaw’s students have a high need for financial aid (97% of our students receive financial aid), are first-generation college students (36%) and through our adult education program, many are nontraditional, enrolled part-time. The proposed system would unfairly penalize institutions like Shaw since the system takes into account typical rating metrics such as tuition and graduation rates, but ignores metrics such as student diversity, campus life and class ratio.

Shaw University, located in North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh, is the oldest historically black institution in the Southern United States. We have graduated more than 10,000 outstanding professionals who have contributed to the advancement of American society. We are proud of our mission of transforming a diverse community of learners into future global leaders, and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of “Shaw Bears” in August. However, students deciding today whether they will join our freshmen class in the fall should do so based on a plethora of measures, including availability of financial aid, academic enrichment programs, study-broad opportunities, and job placement, just to name of few. By limiting universities to a single rating or ranking, prospective students receive a myopic view of what college may be the right choice.

I would encourage the Department of Education to review the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities’ (NAICU) University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN). Designed to offer prospective students and their families concise, web-based, consumer-friendly information about the nation's private, nonprofit colleges and universities in a common format, U-CAN is not a ratings system, but instead offers both quantitative and qualitative information so students and families can make the most informed decision about attending college. U-CAN incorporates nearly 50 data points within a two-page profile for each institution that allows students to determine if a college is not just a “best value,” but a “best fit” as well.

Thank you again Mr. Easton for this opportunity to provide public comment on the proposed ratings system. Rest assured that I and all of my colleagues embrace the Administration’s common goals of access, affordability and transparency in higher education. We look forward to this continued dialogue on the best method to achieve these goals.


Gaddis J. Faulcon
Acting President

Comment Period Closed
Jan 31 2014, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: ED-2013-IES-0151-0104
Tracking Number: 1jy-8a6m-qjqf

Document Information

Date Posted: Feb 6, 2014
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Submitter Information

Submitter Name: Gaddis Faulcon
City: Raleigh
Country: United States
State or Province: NC
Category: College President