WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Lisa McClain reintroduced the College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act for the 118th Congress. This legislation aims to boost transparency in the college financial aid process. Rep. McClain and Education and The Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx led the legislation in response to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that revealed concerning practices in reporting college costs and student aid to prospective students.
“Students deserve transparency when it comes to the financial burdens of higher education, and colleges have no excuse for not providing it,” said Rep. McClain. “The GAO report shows shocking proof of colleges underestimating costs by tens of thousands of dollars, leaving students blindsided with the price tag. I am disgusted at the findings of this report, and I will not allow it to go unanswered. Students should never be responsible for footing a bill they don’t even know exists.”
“Postsecondary institutions should not be allowed to skirt around necessary transparency. Prospective students and their families deserve to have all the information they need to make informed decisions throughout the college shopping process – especially how much their degree will cost and their options for financing it,” said Chairwoman Foxx. “I’m proud to introduce the College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act alongside Representative McClain to ensure that financial aid offers are clear and information about college costs are readily available so that student and parent choice are maximized.”
Under the proposed legislation, colleges and universities would be required to provide students with two award letters, one for direct costs and one for indirect costs. The two-stage process will reduce the ambiguity of the direct as opposed to indirect costs of attending the school. The two-stage process will increase transparency, hold institutions accountable and help students make accurate financial decisions.
To read the GAO report click here.
To read the bill text click here.