May 03, 2023

Senators Warren, Cassidy, Lawmakers Reintroduce College Transparency Act

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Bill Cassidy (R-La.) ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions’ Committee, Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and 12 others reintroduced the College Transparency Act to ensure that students and their families have the best information possible as they consider higher education opportunities. 

This legislation would overturn the federal ban on collecting and reporting comprehensive student outcomes data. By modernizing the college reporting system to include accurate and privacy-protected information  on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings across colleges and majors, the CTA will empower students and families with the resources they need to make informed decisions. .

“Students and their families need a clear understanding of how colleges support their students – including data on their enrollment, transfer, and graduation rates – so they can make informed decisions when choosing a college,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren. “The College Transparency Act would close the information gap so that students and families finally have the tools they need to choose the best school for them.”

“College costs and student debt continue to soar. Students should have all the facts at their disposal and understand the value of their investment and likely outcomes,” said Dr. Bill Cassidy. “The College Transparency Act gives students and parents a tool to make better decisions about where to attend college.” 

The senators are also joined by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in cosponsoring this legislation.

U.S. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“The College Transparency Act offers an excellent opportunity for us all to assist students and their families in making sound decisions about what college or university to attend and what academic program to pursue,” said Marty Meehan, President, University of Massachusetts System. “These are decisions that will have long-term impacts on the financial, professional and social mobility trajectory of students so making such trustworthy data easily accessible is the right thing to do. I want to thank Senator Warren and her colleagues for their leadership on this issue, which is - at its core - a consumer protection initiative.”

“AIC fully supports actions and initiatives that empower students and families to make informed decisions on institutions and academic programs,” said Hubert Benitez, President of American International College. “This is important to all, and especially to individuals who are first-generation college students and those who come from diverse backgrounds, which are served by institutions such as ours,”

“The proposed College Transparency Act seeks to give students new tools to explore postsecondary institutions and it creates a repository of data to inform college leaders about opportunities to better support students and improve their college experience,” said William F. Tate IV, President, Louisiana State University.

“Kansas State University welcomes the passage of the College Transparency Act and appreciates Senator Marshall’s sponsorship of this important legislation,” said Richard Linton, President, Kansas State University. “As a land-grant university, K-State strives to be accessible to all Kansans and the data this bill provides to students, families, universities and others will help tell a complete story of student outcomes.”

"Efforts to improve transparency for prospective students and families in Rhode Island, and across the country, is critical to ensuring access to higher education and bolstering student success," said Marc B. Parlange, President, University of Rhode Island. "We applaud Senator Whitehouse's leadership and the bipartisan effort to advance pathways to higher education through the College Transparency Act.”  

“A college education is an investment in a student’s future, and we want our students and their families to feel confident in their investment,” said Barbara Wilson, President, University of Iowa. “The College Transparency Act provides apples-to-apples comparisons on important information such as total cost, financial aid, completion rates and post-collegiate outcomes. Our goal is to create an on-going conversation with students and families to provide clarity as they plan for college. We believe this is key to ensuring students select the university that best meets their needs.”

“We’re grateful to the bipartisan leaders who are reintroducing this bill, and particularly our own Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper,” said Tony Frank, Chancellor, Colorado State University System. “At CSU, we’ve been working for decades to promote those best practices that get students from enrollment to graduation – and all of that starts with giving people the information they need to make informed choices. The College Transparency Act is simply about giving students and families better information to evaluate how schools are delivering on their promises, and whether the institutions they’re considering match their dreams and individual needs. It’s common-sense legislation that we fully support.”