April 26, 2021

Growing Support for College Transparency Act with Quarter of Senate Signed on as Cosponsors

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced 25 senators have signed their names onto the bipartisan College Transparency Act (CTA). 

“If you’re a student, you’d like to know if you go to a particular university in a particular curriculum what’s the likelihood to graduate, get a good job, and average amount of student loan debt. Those are all things the College Transparency Act provides while protecting student privacy. It’s truth in advertising to make the best choice for your future,” said Dr. Cassidy. “With 25 cosponsors this Congress, momentum is growing for this bill.

“Students, families, and the taxpayers deserve a clear picture of how colleges are serving our students,” said Senator Warren. “That’s why I’m glad to partner with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation to close glaring gaps in college information transparency, so everyone can make better-informed decisions on higher education.”

“Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions that one makes in life. It’s important that we empower students and families to make informed decisions about their educational futures, based on concrete data,” said Senator Scott. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reintroduce the College Transparency Act.

“Students and parents need access to more information about the benefits of attending different colleges as they make what is often one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives,” said Senator Whitehouse. “The bipartisan College Transparency Act will help families choose a school knowing what they can expect to get out of a degree.

CTA modernizes the college reporting system for postsecondary data by providing accurate reporting on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students is securely protected.

This information will give students a clear understanding of the return on investment in higher education and help point them toward 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 post-secondary 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. 

U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH),Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) join Cassidy, Warren, Scott and Whitehouse in support of CTA. 

The U.S. House companion legislation was also introduced today by U.S. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Steve Stivers (R-OH-15), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Joe Wilson (R-SC-02), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) and Bryan Steil (R-WI-01). 

Earlier this month, 151 organizations representing everything from educational institutions, student organizations, and employers endorsed the bill.