CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - President Obama's administration issued college scorecards today based on affordability. So how do schools in the Heartland stack up?
The president says it's up to colleges to keep tuition down and make higher education affordable and he's keeping score, saying federal funding could be tied to performance.
In last night's state of the union address, President Obama called on congress to change the higher education act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.
In short, where can students get the most bang for their buck.
"We do a lot on our campus to make sure we educate students on loans and default rates and making good financial decisions," said Lenell Hahn, Director of Admissions at Southeast Missouri State Univeristy.
Hahn says more and more students are looking at the expected debt load before they graduate.
"I think they are paying attention maybe a little bit more," said Hahn.
Freshman on campus say they're always keeping an eye on how much they'll owe after graduation.
"Cost of tuition actually played a very large role in me choosing to come to Southeast," said Freshman Jordan Hendricks. "I looked at other schools in the area, Missouri State, the University of Missouri, and I knew coming to SEMO I wouldn't graduate with a lot of debt and I would get a degree that would help get me a job in the future."
Hahn says she likes Southeast's numbers and the university uses it as a very good recruiting tool.
"To perspective students it lets them know that we care a lot about affordability and making sure they can get a good quality education at Southeast as well as being able to finance it," said Hahn.
Wednesday, the Department of Education released college scorecards which show the net cost, graduation rate, median debt, and expected income after graduation.
The yearly cost of education ranges from just more than $6,000 at Three Rivers College, to more than $13,000 per year at Southern Illinois University.
Moreover, students have to pay out anywhere from $71 to more than $200 a month over a period of 10 years to pay off the loan.