House Approves Foxx’s Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency in America’s Higher Education System

Published Tuesday, July 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., that will help students gain access to the facts they need to make an informed decision about where to pursue higher education.

Foxx

Foxx

“Each year, families across the country face difficult decisions about where they can afford to send their children to college and what institution is the best fit for them. Students must wade through massive and often conflicting amounts of information in order to make an informed choice,” said Foxx, who serves as chair of the House Subcommittee on Higher Education. “Taking time to fully understand the available data can be an aggravating task that may get put off and ultimately ignored, often with disastrous consequences. This bill will improve the information students and their families need to make smart decisions about their education, providing a more complete picture of student populations on our nation’s college campuses.”

H.R. 3178, the Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act, improves consumer information to provide a more complete picture of all student populations, streamline existing transparency efforts at the federal level to reduce confusion for students and require better coordination by federal agencies to avoid duplication and confusion. It passed by voice vote.

Specifically the legislation:

  • requires the Secretary of Education to create a consumer-tested College Dashboard that would display only key information students need when deciding which school to attend;
  • ensures the College Dashboard includes information on the completion rates of all students, including contemporary students and Pell Grant recipients;
  • instructs the Secretary of Education to provide a link to the College Dashboard page of each institution listed on a student’s FAFSA to make sure students know this information is available;
  • directs the Secretary of Education to coordinate with other federal agencies to ensure all published higher education data is consistent with the information available on the College Dashboard;
  • improves current policies governing institutional net price calculators to give students a more accurate picture of the total cost of attending a particular institution;
  • streamlines and eliminate unnecessary information and federal transparency initiatives; and
  • respects the deep concerns that Americans have about government intrusion into their private lives by prohibiting any personally identifiable information provided by users from being sold or made available to third parties.

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U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is the elected Republican Conference Secretary. Dr. Foxx is the chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and serves as Vice Chair of the House Rules Committee.

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