Voluntary System of Accountability
The Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) is an initiative by public 4-year universities to supply basic, comparable information on the undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report – the College Portrait.
The VSA was developed in 2007 by a committed group of university leaders and is sponsored by two higher education associations – the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).
The VSA is a voluntary initiative developed by the higher education community to meet the following objectives:
- Provide a useful tool for students during the college search process
- Assemble and disseminate information that is transparent, comparable, and understandable
- Demonstrate accountability and stewardship to public
- Support institutions in the measurement of educational outcomes and facilitate the identification and implementation of effective practices as part of institutional improvement efforts.
For each VSA participating institution, the College Portrait supplies basic comparable information through a common web report. Information includes student and campus characteristics, cost of attendance, success and progress rates, campus safety, class size, student experiences on campus, and student learning outcomes.
The college portraits can be viewed by state on the College Portrait website.