WASHINGTON, DC, January 16, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Five diverse organizations - PayScale, KIPP, The New America Foundation's Education Policy Program, College Abacus and Overture Technologies accepted the White House challenge and were excited to showcase "Howsmyoffer.com" at the 2nd annual Education Datapalooza event this week.
"Every year millions of students get accepted by colleges across the country and the school gives them a piece of paper saying here's the price we charge and this is how you're going to pay for it" said Adam Philabaum, Senior Program Manager at PayScale. "Schools hold all the power and most people don't realize that it's perfectly acceptable to negotiate at this stage. That's something we hope to change!"
Until now, students really had no way of knowing if they are getting a good price and a fair amount of grant aid. Unfortunately, some colleges even make it difficult to compare their offer to other schools by employing intentionally confusing terms and making offer letters hard to understand. It's easy to get excited about the acceptance letter but then comes the cost breakdown and this is where substantial decisions must be made.
Similar to how Waze reinvented GPS, HowsMyOffer.com is a community-driven application which gathers complementary data from its users to provide critical insight for increasingly accurate comparison. Is this really the right school? Did you get the best deal? Are there lower cost options that still allow you to achieve your goals?
"We developed How'sMyOffer.com in order to give students a tool that allows them to compare their financial aid letter to similar offers given to peers" said Benjamin Miller, Senior Policy Analyst for The New America Foundation. "It will help everyone make better choices across colleges, both by comparing costs but also with important information about results, too."
"How's My Offer empowers students with additional leverage to negotiate a stronger aid package" said Bill Hubert, Higher Education Consultant for Overture Technologies. "The crowdsource model we've created allows the tool to become smarter with each interaction and leverages the power of its collective data to help students achieve a more affordable American dream."
Following its introduction at Datapalooza, Howsmyoffer.com plans to incorporate feedback gathered at the event and prepare for release to the public in early spring. Register for updates online at www.Howsmyoffer.com
On January 15, the White House and the U.S. Department of Education will host the second annual Education Datapalooza, highlighting innovators from the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors who have utilized freely available government data to build products, services, and apps that advance postsecondary education in creative and powerful ways. www.WhiteHouse.gov
Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. www.PayScale.com
About Overture Technologies:
Overture Technologies is dedicated to working with schools, lenders, government agencies, non-profits and entrepreneurs to increase affordable access to Higher Education for students nationwide. Overture's specialized tools help partners simplify communication with their members and supports efforts to bring transparency, equality and consistency throughout the financial aid process - www.OvertureCorp.com
About KIPP:Bay Area Schools:
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. www.Kipp.org
About College Abacus:
College Abacus is a free service that allows users to compare their projected financial aid packages across schools and to identify schools within their budgets. Using net price calculators (NPCs) built by US colleges as mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, College Abacus has built a system that generates estimates for more than 4000 post-secondary institutions in the United States. www.CollegeAbacus.com
About the New America Foundation's Education Policy Program:
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. The Education Policy Program uses original research and policy analysis to solve the nation's critical education problems, serving as a trusted source of objective analysis and innovative ideas for policymakers, educators, and the public at large. www.NewAmerica.org