September 19, 2008

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LEWISBURG, Pa. – The launch of the upgraded University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN) college consumer information website, which includes Bucknell University as a member, advances a national movement toward greater college transparency and accountability for prospective students and their families. 

This is the first major upgrade to the U-CAN site originally unveiled in September 2007.

It will enhance a lauded website recognized for providing free, objective, comparable data on the factors that matter most to consumers: student costs by category, tuition trends, admission and graduation rates, average student aid packages, average debt at graduation and more. (See Bucknell profile.)

U-CAN "2.0" offers consumers:

  • Enhanced search that increases the number of searchable variables from three to 17. Institutions can now be searched by tuition and fees, graduation rates and average debt at graduation, among other categories.
  • A new guide to resources for planning for college, searching for the best college fit and navigating the financial aid maze.

"Many families are overwhelmed by the college search process and don't believe they are getting the information and guidance necessary to make an informed choice," said David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which developed and maintains U-CAN.

Participating institutions
Since NAICU first unveiled U-CAN in 2007, with 600 nonprofit, private colleges and universities, the number of participating institutions has grown by 21 percent. The roster of private colleges and universities participating has grown to 728 institutions. The association has 953 member schools, which enroll 85 percent of all students attending private colleges and universities in America.

Currently, 70-plus member institutions of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) have provided information about their schools to U-CAN, according to Brian C. Mitchell, former chair and current board member of the AICUP Board and president of Bucknell.

U-CAN's new features are the result of consumer focus group conversations conducted across the nation in spring 2008, and feedback collected from site users over the past year.

Higher education diversity
With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, art and other professions.

Contact: Division of Communications