Marco Rubio Continues to Back Higher Ed Transparency Proposal

This week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., continued to champion a proposal “to provide critical information to help students, families, policymakers, and taxpayers better understand the costs and outcomes associated with higher education, while protecting individual privacy.”

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., brought back the “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act” which he, Rubio and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., have championed for a decade.

The bill “would require data to be made 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” and “these measures would be available and broken down by individual institutions and programs of study.” The bill would also help ensure 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.

Kevin Derby
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