WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate education committee, recently joined the Bloomberg Government podcast “Suspending the Rules” to discuss the College Transparency Act (S. 1121), bipartisan legislation he helped author to give prospective college students access to consumer information that will help them choose the best higher education program that fits their needs.
The bill is supported by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).
“Something needs to be done to make the student and the parents a better consumer of higher education,” said Dr. Cassidy. The College Transparency Act will help students determine whether, “if you go to my alma mater, Louisiana State University, and you graduate in petroleum engineering, and the oil market is up, then you can guess that your first year of income might be $100,000, and that you can expect a certain acceleration of your income. Or, if you go to another university and graduate in gender studies … and as a friend of mine said whose niece was graduating in such a program, it’s good preparation to become a barista. Now, this is not to denigrate the curriculum, it is just to observe what the financial opportunity is with that degree. So I think we need more people prepared to make more money and pay off their loans, and [fewer people prepared to make] less money and become mired in debt.”
“I want to give power to the student and power to the student’s family,” continued Cassidy. “We need it because we have $1.5 trillion in student loan debt and lots of kids are not finishing school because this curriculum is not right for them.”
“All I know is that if you work really hard, and you’ve got a good idea, and you work, work, work, sometimes good things happen. And that’s my philosophy on everything I do in the Senate,” concluded Cassidy. The College Transparency Act “is a great idea. As the parent of two kids in college—one’s graduate school, one’s undergrad—and another who’s on her way, I think it’s a great idea. And I do think that if we continue to work, work, work, we can” pass it.