University of Nebraska Joins Voluntary Accountability Program
High school students who are searching for the right college or university have a new resource to help in their decision process: the College Portrait, a web-based program that allows prospective college students, their families and others to compare costs, graduation rates, degree offerings and other important factors at colleges and universities across the U.S. And the University of Nebraska is one of the first to sign on to the new program.

"We want students, their families and the public to have reliable, up-to-date information about colleges and universities," University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken said. "The College Portrait allows students and their parents to compare institutions based on the factors they believe are most important." Milliken said the system offers more relevant and reliable information than the "best colleges" lists prepared and sold by news magazines and other commercial enterprises.

Information on the University of Nebraska at Omaha is available now, and will be available soon for UNL and UNK, on the university and campus web sites. Profiles of all participating institutions can be viewed and compared at www.voluntarysystem.org. Each institution's report includes items such as cost of attendance, degree offerings and graduation rates, as well as a snapshot of student experiences and activities, and results of programs designed to measure progress in student learning.

The College Portrait is part of the new Voluntary System of Accountability ("VSA") project, a partnership between the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. It was formally endorsed by the NASULGC Board of Directors, of which Milliken is a member, earlier this month.

The benefits of the accountability system go beyond students and parents, Milliken said. "A high priority of the University of Nebraska is to be cost effective and accountable to the citizens of the state. This new tool will help us demonstrate that we are good stewards of the resources provided by taxpayers."

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