Harder Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Help Students Succeed

March 14, 2019
Press Release
During Rep. Harder’s 100 Days Tour, he heard from students about the need to make higher education more affordable and easier to access. Today, Rep. Josh Harder introduced the bipartisan College Transparency Act, the first step towards opening up the process for families.

WASHINGTON – During Rep. Harder’s 100 Days Tour, he heard from students about the need to make higher education more affordable and easier to access. Today, Rep. Josh Harder introduced the bipartisan College Transparency Act, the first step towards opening up the process for families.

The cost of attending college is prohibitive for too many in the Central Valley and across the United States, and students often have to take on enormous debt to make it happen. The aggregate student loan debt in the United States is over $1.4 trillion—exceeding our nation’s entire credit card debt and greater than the entire GDP of Mexico.

Students are also often in the dark about the best college choices for them— today’s college reporting system has significant gaps in available data, meaning families don’t have access to the practical information they need to make an informed decision. This means students and their families are left in the dark when decided to take on thousands of dollars of debt.

The College Transparency Act would make sure all students have access to crucial information like enrollment completion, and post-college success across colleges and majors. This information will allow prospective students to compare how students succeeded across institutions, helping them find the best, most cost effective option for them.

Rep. Harder released the following statements upon introduction:

“Sending a child to college is one of the most important, and expensive, decisions our families can make. It’s also one of the least transparent processes with no way to compare success rates or even see what you are getting for your money. This bill ensures that our families have access to the information they need to help them make more informed decisions for their kids’, and their families futures.”

Background:

Currently, students are unable to access accurate and comprehensive information about graduate rates and employment possibilities by major or credential level, inhibiting them from making informed decisions about their post-secondary education path. 

The College Transparency Act would address the current shortcomings of higher education information by:

  • Ensuring students and families have access to accurate and complete information on student outcomes, such as completion and employment outcomes across colleges and majors;
  • Providing actionable and customizable information to students and families so they, rather than government agencies, can make responsible choices about higher education; and
  • Streamlining reporting burdens on institutes of higher education by prioritizing information most helpful to students and families as well as institutional improvement.

Joining Rep. Harder are Reps. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in introducing this legislation.

Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced identical companion legislation in the US senate.

 

To read the bill, click here.