Academic/career counseling services
Employment services for current students
Placement services for program completers
Even if you don't need financial aid, the ability of past students to successfully repay loans speaks to the value of the education received.
The default rate is the percentage of students who are already delinquent on their loans within three years of leaving the school. If a school has a high default rate, that sends an alarm out that the students' educations are not sufficient to earn enough to repay those loans. Read below for details on the typical loan burden, and keep in mind that a low default rate may be more important than loan amounts in predicting your future success.
At Colorado Media School, 70% of full-time degree-seeking freshmen receive federal student loans, averaging $7,947 each in just the freshman year. We have much more details about the full loan burden students experience in our Cost and Financial Aid Section.
The blue curve shows the earnings of this school's alumni -- so a high curve indicates this school is setting its students up for success!
How might your earnings compare with other people your age? Opportunity Insights used IRS data to track almost every person born in the US in the years 1980 to 1991, and they ranked the mean (average) 2014 earnings of students who attended Colorado Media School in comparison to all people in the US the same age. Although this data is now a little old, the scope of this project was awesome and gives us a glimpse at alumni performance that we cannot find until a new study of this incredible magnitude is performed.
You might notice a little earnings dip at young ages for some of the top bachelor's institutions. This coincides with the years that many alumni may be in graduate school and earning less.
We may wonder if, as a result of attending a given college, we will have a better chance for higher earnings. Opportunity Insights sought to answer this question by following the wealth story of every student for whom income information was available.
Opportunity Insights studied groups of all children born in the US in the same year for each birth year from 1980 to 1991. This grouping included every single US child who had a valid SSN or ITIN (tax identification number) and could be linked to parents with non-negative income.
The incomes of all families in a birth year group are measured when the child is 15-19 and these incomes are averaged. The calculated incomes from all families in the group were arranged from smallest to largest, and divided into five groups of equal size. On the left of the diagram, you can see the relative distribution of Colorado Media School's students between the family income divided into fifths formed by looking at the entire US group.
In 2014, all people from the same birth year were divided into a new set of five groups that were determined by their individual labor earnings for that year. The students from this birth year who primarily attended Colorado Media School between the ages of 19 and 22 were divided into these five groups, and the percent in each group is shown on the right of the diagram.
The diagram lets you see the proportion in each original income group who travel to each earnings group, and provides some insight into the likelihood of financial success after attendance.
If you'd like to understand the nitty gritty details of this interesting data, be sure to check out the well-written Opportunity Insights report by selecting SOURCES under the figure.
Opportunity Insights came up with an overall measure of how much individual colleges contribute to economic mobility by creating a mobility rating. Colleges offering both access to and economic success for low-income students receive a high rating.
Below, we can see the percentage from each initial family wealth group who attend this college, and also the alumni's relative wealth later. Do students entering college from the bottom twenty percent of family income end up making it to a higher level? Do the top twenty percent stay at the top? Follow the colors, left to right, and see for yourself.
Schools are required to report the ratio of students per instructor, but look for a small number of students for every full-time instructor as your best indicator of personal attention and a modern well-integrated curriculum.
Who might be attending school with you? We'll look at what degrees most students have received, whether they are on campus or online, a little about their path, and the overall student body size. Our aim is to give some idea of what the campus culture might be.
This donut chart shows you what degrees were awarded by Colorado Media School last year, and gives you a good idea of this school's focus. Make sure this school's focus matches your goals.
There are performance problems with many online-focused schools -- you can read about this in an Ididio case study, but you may want some online options to give you greater flexibility.
You will be most happy at a school with a large number of students who are like you, whether that's someone who enters right out of high school, or someone who is transferring, or someone who isn't ready to work towards a degree.
Another breakdown that can help is a view of the student body size. Here we show student counts, including part-time versus full-time students. If the proportion of students that best describes you is relatively small, then is it possible that another school might be better-prepared to meet your needs?
A high proportion of international and out-of-state students speaks to reputation and offers an opportunity for diverse interactions in and out of class.
The NPR article A Campus More Colorful Than Reality: Beware That College Brochure emphasizes the importance of judging a school's diversity based on solid data as promotional materials are eager to suggest a multicultural student body.
Student race is only categorized for non-international students, and international students are listed separately.
The age distribution at a school can tell you a lot about its mission. If you're looking for a traditional undergraduate experience, you may prefer to see students who are mostly younger than 25 (lighter shades), but if you want support as a returning student, a large number of students 25 and older (darker shades) may better suit your needs.
There are multiple outside factors that can affect the gender balance of students recruited by schools. As an example, within less-affluent families higher education is more frequently attained by women than by men, a phenomenon explored in the Atlantic. Therefore, schools serving lower-income populations may be more likely to see a gender imbalance. On the other hand, some colleges may offer predominantly degrees that are stereotypically associated with a single gender, affecting the ratio of men to women accordingly.
It's not surprising that colleges in general have a greater percentage of students from wealthy families than from poor families. Although nationally 20% of families earn at least $110,200, at Colorado Media School, this percentage is 13%. Similarly, while nationally 20% of families earn $19,800 or less, at Colorado Media School 18% are in this bottom quintile.
Compare student wealth at the extremes to other schools in the context group.
In the folders below, you can explore your options for study. The folders are grouped and colored by broad field, and you can see the number of students who have completed degrees in each field by following the colors in our chart showing graduations. You can...
Where a school spends and collects its money can suggest a lot about the educational experience it offers. The tabs below offer a look at spending that is important for the quality of your experience if you attend.
Instructional expenses are primarily the salary and benefits paid to the heart of a school: its full-time instructors. High expenditures in this area suggest care in hiring enough highly qualified full-time faculty to provide personal attention and up-to-date subject-area excellence.
You can find a myriad of articles about the enrollment crises expected across US colleges and universities due to fewer births during the 2008 recession and other demographic shifts. The end result to you is that you need to protect your college investment by researching the financial stability of schools that you are considering. Many of our metrics are based on the excellent advice of Forbes' Financial Health Grades.
Ididio does not want to see you stuck with debt and no degree.
The core operating margin is the percentage by which core revenues exceed (or, when negative, fall short of) core expenses, so higher is better here. This margin excludes finances for non-academic expenses such as housing, hospitals, or other independent operations. For schools with large endowments, this measure can be volitile from year-to-year without indicating concern because investment losses and gains are driving this figure, but if an institution's margin is trending downwards or consistently negative, you should be concerned.
Colorado Media School is a private for-profit school, meaning that its annual goal is to make a profit for its shareholders. The other types of schools are public or not-for-profit, and profit is not a goal.
We divided revenue and expenses for Colorado Media School into categories to give some insight to what may have influenced peaks and ditches in the chart above. The purple shades correspond most directly to student education. The blue shades, auxiliary expenses and revenue, are often related to room and board. We show investment gains and losses in apricot.