Baylor Joins 'U-CAN,' New Web Resource for Prospective Students and Parents

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Oct. 15, 2007

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University is among more than 600 private colleges and universities that are participating in a new and distinctive web-based initiative called U-CAN - the University & College Accountability Network - to help potential college students and their parents explore and compare private colleges and universities.

Baylor's U-CAN profile can be accessed at http://members.ucan-network.org/baylor.

U-CAN was developed by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the largest organization representing nonprofit, private institutions in the United States. It is the first national consumer information resource created and provided directly to students and parents by colleges and universities themselves.

"There are many consumer sources out there, but U-CAN offers something distinct," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "The college profiles provide a unique mix of 42 quantitative elements, narrative descriptions, and 25 hyperlinks to campus web sites. Institutions not only report cut-and-dry statistics, but also have the opportunity to express what makes them special."

"Choosing the right university is one of the most important decisions that students - and their families - will make. Baylor is pleased to participate in the U-CAN initiative that educates and empowers students and their parents with relevant, easily accessible information to help them in the university decision-making process," said Baylor President John M. Lilley.

The U-CAN initiative is designed to give prospective students and their families concise, web-based and consumer-friendly information on individual private colleges and universities in a common format. U-CAN consists of hundreds of institutional profiles that contain comparable data and targeted links to the institution's web site for information on specific aspects of the institution.

The in-depth information included in the college and university profiles covers admissions, enrollment, academics, student demographics, graduation rates, most common fields of study, transfer of credit policy, accreditation, faculty information, class size, tuition and fee trends, price of attendance, financial aid, campus housing, student life and campus safety.

The institutional profiles also are highly "clickable." Twenty-five targeted hyperlinks take students to specific pages of an institution's web site. The links and narrative descriptions complement the profile's statistical data, and provide an opportunity to see what makes each college or university unique.

U-CAN also provides consumers easy access to information on average loans at graduation, undergraduate class-size breakdown and net tuition for hundreds of colleges. This information, which comes from the U.S. Department of Education's IPEDS survey and the Common Data Set, is often difficult for consumers to find and decipher.

The profiles are displayed in a common template that NAICU developed through focus groups of prospective students and parents, who identified the information they most need to make an informed college choice. U-CAN is totally free both to users and to the colleges and universities that choose to participate.

U-CAN profiles include information identified by policy-makers as important for institutional accountability. Congress and the U.S. Department of Education have called for comparable and concise information to help the public better evaluate and choose colleges.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. With nearly 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. NAICU members enroll 85 percent of all students attending private institutions. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, art institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.

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