Wyden, Rubio, Warner Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Clarify Costs of Higher Education
Washington, D.C. – Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mark Warner, D-Va., today reintroduced legislation that would make the costs and outcomes associated with higher education clear in order to help students, families, policymakers and taxpayers.
The bipartisan Student Right to Know Before You Go Act makes data available to prospective college students about schools’ graduation rates, debt levels, how much graduates can expect to earn and other critical education and workforce-related measures of success. Importantly, under the bill, these outcome measures would be available and broken down by individual institution and program of study. The bill also protects student privacy by requiring the use of privacy-enhancing technologies that encrypt and protect the data used to produce this consumer information for students and families.
“Students and their families deserve the opportunity to make the best possible education choices for themselves based on information that is both accurate and put in proper context,” Wyden said. “I hear from recent and not-so-recent graduates in my town halls and at the grocery store that their income cannot make a dent in their crushing student debt. While more work is needed to reduce the devastating impacts of student debt, we have the opportunity now to equip students and their families with clear information about the investment in their futures before they make such significant life choices.”
“A college education is one of the biggest and most important financial investments young Americans can make,” Rubio said. “Before students take out loans, they should have access to as much information as possible about what kind of return they can expect on their degree. This bill would help students and their families make more informed financial decisions.”
“Choosing a college or university is a major decision that has serious financial impacts,” Warner said. “Students and families considering their options have the right to know critical information about potential schools before investing thousands of dollars. This legislation will make important information like graduation rates, debt levels, and potential earnings of graduates publicly available to those going through the college application process.”
Prospective students must now make costly and critical decisions about furthering their education based on information that is often inadequate, inaccurate or both. The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act requires the use of anonymized statistical data based on student information from colleges and universities, as well as loan and income information from government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Education to ensure that students, families, policymakers and tax payers are fully aware of the costs and outcomes of higher education institutions.
Wyden, Rubio and Warner have introduced versions of the bill in every Congress since 2012.
The bill text is here.
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