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Public University Associations Unveil A New Web Tool For Prospective Students

A partnership between the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has launched College Portrait, a new comprehensive Web resource to help prospective college students and their families compare and contrast U.S. public colleges and universities.

College Portrait is product of the Voluntary System of Accountability project, which is the partnership for which NASULGC and the AASCU have joined forces. The Lumina Foundation for Education has provided funding for the project, which has benefited from the involvement of more than 82 committee members drawn from 70 public colleges and universities.

“College Portrait provides potential students and the public with information about public universities that is accessible and understandable. Our member universities expect to be accountable to the public and to demonstrate that they are good stewards of the resources provided by taxpayers. College Portrait will help accomplish these goals,” says Peter McPherson, president of NASULGC.

A Web site providing a summary of College Portrait and the links to participating colleges and universities is available at A respective school’s College Portrait is a five-page template developed to provide comparable, consistent and transparent information on the undergraduate student experience. Participating colleges and universities host their respective College Portrait template on their campus Web site.

Individual schools and state university systems that have joined the project include: the California State University system; the University of North Carolina system, and the University of Wisconsin system, along with the University of Tennessee and the University of Iowa.

Earlier this month, officials unveiled College Portrait in New York City to launch the formal effort to register universities and university systems from the NASULGC membership for College Portrait. College Portrait information was identified based on feedback from student/family focus groups, input from the higher education community and researchers. The data elements fall into three sections: Student and Family Information, Student Experiences and Perceptions and Student Learning Outcomes.

–Ronald Roach

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