Be Part of the Conversation

Be Part of the Conversation

We want to hear from you! We need your ideas and suggestions about how to combat rising college costs and make college affordable for American families.

Open Forums

As part of an effort to gather public input about these proposals, and in particular the development of a college ratings system, the Department has scheduled four open forums around the country. At each open forum, a senior Administration official will be present to introduce the themes and key questions about the college value and affordability agenda and to receive feedback about the development of a college ratings system. Forum participants are welcome to share their views on measuring value and affordability, and in particular on the metrics and weighting of the ratings system.

The open forums will be held:

Further details will be available here as they become available.

Individuals desiring to present comments or feedback at an open forum must register by sending an e-mail to with the subject "Open Forum Registration" at least three days prior to the open forum. Each participant will be limited to five minutes for comments. The Department will notify registrants of the location and time slot reserved for them. An individual may make only one presentation at the open forums. If we receive more registrations than we are able to accommodate, the Department reserves the right to reject the registration of an entity or individual that is affiliated with an entity or individual that is already scheduled to present comments and to select among registrants to ensure that a broad range of entities and individuals is allowed to present. We will accept walk-in registrations for any remaining time slots on a first-come, first-served basis at the Department's on-site registration table. Speakers may also submit written comments.

All forums are open to the public and transcripts of the open forums will be made available to the public on this page.

A New College Ratings System: Areas of Feedback

President Obama has directed the U.S. Department of Education to develop and publish a new college ratings system that would be available for students and families before the 2015-16 school year. The ratings system will help students compare the value offered by colleges and encourage colleges to improve.

At our open forums, we will seek input to help us develop the ratings system. We are particularly interested in hearing from the public on the following topic areas:

  • The characteristics individuals look for when choosing a college.
  • The information individuals must have to compare colleges.
  • The important factors to think about when considering the "value" of a college.
  • The ways that individuals weigh college price, quality, geography, program of study, or other factors when comparing colleges.
  • How individuals make a distinction between a high-performing college and a low-performing college.

If you have input on these or other topics related to college affordability and value that you would like to share with us, please email us at