WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and 11 other senators today introduced the College Transparency Act (CTA), bipartisan legislation to provide actionable and customizable information for students and families as they consider higher education opportunities.
CTA modernizes the college reporting system for postsecondary data by ensuring accurate reporting on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college success across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students is securely protected.
This information will tell students how others with their backgrounds have succeeded at an institution, and help point them towards schools and programs of study best suited to their unique needs and desired outcomes. It will also aid institutions of learning and policymakers in their work to improve our country’s postsecondary education system.
The current college reporting system is overly burdensome on institutions, yet provides little practical information for students and families due to significant gaps in college data reporting. Under the updated system, institutions would securely report privacy-protected, student-level data to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES would be responsible for securely storing student information, working with relevant federal agencies to generate post-college outcomes reports, and presenting the summary information on a user-friendly website for students and families.
“Where to go to college is a life-changing decision. It can set the stage for success or saddle students with overwhelming debt,” said Dr. Cassidy. “With education loan debt at a record high, students should have the information to make the best decision for their futures.”
“The College Transparency Act is critical to helping students and their families make informed, cost-effective decisions about their future educational choices,” said Louisiana State University President F. King Alexander. “This bipartisan effort will lay a strong foundation for information that showcases university outcomes and student success metrics. It will also help universities better understand how to better serve their students so that they reach their goals.”
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-MN), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) are also original cosponsors of this legislation.
Representatives Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Josh Harder (D-CA) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Students have been making one of the most important and expensive decisions of their lives, largely in the dark. This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will help give students the information they need and deserve as they make decisions about their future,” said Amy Laitinen, Director of Higher Education at New America.