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MU discloses consumer information online

The Parthenon

Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 10:03

The Consumer Information and Disclosure for Marshall University has been released online.

Michael McGuffey, director of institutional research and planning, said the disclosure includes information the university is required to provide to students, faculty and the public and information the university feels students and faculty need to know to make an informed decision about certain aspects of their lives at Marshall.

“What we’ve done is gathered all of these individual pieces of information into a single webpage where you can get to any of the information we’re required to provide to students,” McGuffey said.

McGuffey’s office sent an email about the Consumer Information and Disclosure to students and faculty this past week.

Kathy Bialk, director of student financial assistance at Marshall, said the disclosures are required of all institutions who participate in Title IV federal student aid programs.

“The disclosures aren’t specifically all about financial aid,” Bialk said. “They’re about an institution over all.”

The information in the disclosure includes financial aid, retention rates, student body diversity, textbook requirements, crime statistics, completion and graduation and transfer out rates and several other reports.

Bialk said she thinks the website has a lot of information, but it is what the Higher Education Opportunity act requires.

“I think it’s very important to disclose information, but it’s so much information that some of it might not be relevant,” Bialk said. “The information might get lost in the shuffle and the student might not look at it at all, and we do not have a choice in the matter. We’re required to disclose it by law.”

McGuffey said the university did not always have to add the current amount of information.

“We’ve always had to provide certain information,” McGuffey said. “They’ve upped it and added quite a bit of additional information we are required to provide.

McGuffey said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is the national privacy statute that lists what information is directory — such as names, majors and class status — that the university can give out about students, or what information is confidential.

McGuffey said the Higher Education Opportunity Act required a net cost calculator for students to check their net cost for attendance.

McGuffey said the information on the website can be helpful to students.

“It’s mostly so students can make informed decisions about where they go to school and attending that certain school,” McGuffey said.

The website,, includes links to the information each department has disclosed.

Jessica Patterson can be contacted at

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