Today Texas A&M officials announced EmpowerU, a program aimed at monitoring the system’s efficiency at graduating its students.
Essentially, EmpowerU is A&M’s new public analytical website. It aggregates statistics of all student progress, and presents its data online. The idea is that individual institutions will set their own goals for improvement. EmpowerU’s website will publicly hold them accountable to quality of education and cost efficiency, benchmarking peer institutions against each other.
Texas A&M Regent Elaine Mendoza announced the initiative and outlined the results of the current system’s inefficiencies:
In 2004, approximately “13,500 students entered a Texas A&M University System Institution. Out of that we had 4,900 non-completers, students that we had in our grasp that did not persist," said Mendoza. "With them, they took about $51 million in financial aid, never to be recovered.”
$24.7 million in state revenue was spent on these students who had accumulated an average of $11,000 in debt.
The Texas A&M University System encompasses a statewide network of 11 campuses and educates more than 120,000 students a year. It is one of the largest educational enterprises in the nation.