This is the fifth installment in a series examining five bipartisan bills advanced by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on June 22, 2016 and approved by the full House of Representatives on July 11, 2016. While unlikely to be taken up by the Senate this year, the bills will help to frame the discussion for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the upcoming 115th Congress.

The original post briefly summarizing all five bills was posted in Education Matters on June 24, 2016.

The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3178), introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), would modify consumer information disclosure requirements related to college costs and student characteristics in order to assist students in making informed decisions about where to pursue higher education. To achieve this goal, the bill would:

  • Create a new consumer-tested College Dashboard to provide data on colleges and universities that participate in federal student loan and grant scholarships, displaying data on enrollment, completion rates, costs, financial aid, student debt, and graduate wages.
  • Require college financial aid websites to offer students a link to the net price calculator for higher education institutions, with calculator results offering students information on attendance costs, available student aid, the percentage of students at the institutions receiving student aid, as well as information on veterans benefits.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementation of the bill would cost $1 million from Fiscal Year 2017 through Fiscal Year 2021.

H.R. 3178 is cosponsored by Reps. Alma Adams (D-NC), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Mike Coffman (R-CO), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Susan Davis (D-CA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Thomas MacArthur (R-NJ), Luke Messer (R-IN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), Phil Roe (R-TN), Gregorio Sablan (D-MP), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Glenn Thompson (R-PA).

H.R. 3178 is supported by the National Education Association.