Monday, February 13, 2012

Consumer Information

Beginning in the 2009-10 Award Year, Consumer Information became a new rule for schools. The Department of Education required colleges and universities to make available certain pieces of information to all potential students in a manner that was easy for people to find. They have since gone on to say that the information should be no more than 3-4 clicks from the homepage, with less clicks being preferred. Although not necessarily required, it is important to have all the Consumer Information in the same place. Some of the larger universities already had most of the information on their websites, but they weren't together. The solution they had was to create a page on the website called "Consumer Information", which had links to the specific page on the website with the information. Some of the smaller schools, just created a pdf document on their websites with the information typed.

The information that was supposed to be included in the Consumer Information included things like policies. Schools would have to include their Satisfactory Academic Progress policy, refund policy, and general school policies. Cost of attendance including tuition and fees, and an explanation how a student's COA is figured. The types of financial aid available is a required disclosure, as well as a description of them. Contact information such as phone and address should be included. There really is no such thing as being too specific, because it is supposed to be a student's guide to how things work at the school they are looking at. The information is supposed to also be a more regular English (as opposed to governmental regulation lingo).

Here is a link to Metro Business College's Consumer Information; it is found under the "About Us" tab of the website: http://metrobusinesscollege.edu/pdfs/ConsumerInformation.pdf

Each year it is updated with new and/or updated information.

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