Legislative Tracker: Consumer Information & Transparency

Legislative Tracker Logo On this page, you'll find proposals to increase student and family awareness of institutional policies or provide students and borrowers with additional information. 

For consumer information proposals from the previous session of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Consumer Information & Transparency

*NEW* Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act
HR 3774 Sponsor:
Rep. Messer (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
7 (5 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
9/14/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would amend the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) to allow institutions to release education records to an institution where a student was previously enrolled for the purpose of applying coursework and credits toward completion of a postsecondary credential, also known as "reverse transfer." Students would need to provide written consent prior to receiving such credential.
       
Know Before You Owe Federal Student Loan Act
S. 1628 Sponsor:
Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
7/25/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would require annual counseling for every newly disbursed loan. In this "pre-loan counseling," institutions would be required to estimate a borrower's debt-to-income ratio and share statements informing the borrower that she does not have to accept the full amount of loans for which she is eligible, among other requirements. Borrowers would be required to manually enter the exact dollar amount they intend to borrow, either in writing or through electronic means, after completing pre-loan counseling, but before certification and disbursement. In addition, students would receive regular statements about their loan balance from their servicer while in a period of deferment or forbearance, including while in school. 
       
Improving Access to Higher Education Act
HR 3199 Sponsor:
Rep. DeSaulnier (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
21 (0 R; 21 D)
Introduced:
7/12/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions to disclose in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data regarding students with disabilities, including total number of students with disabilities enrolled, number of students accessing or receiving accommodations, percentage of students with disabilities of all undergraduate students, and the total number of undergraduate certificates or degrees awarded to students with disabilities. The bill also includes provisions intended to improve higher education for students with disabilities through competitive grant programs. 
       
Educating Student Loan Borrowers Act
HR 3051 Sponsor:
Rep. Welch (D-VT)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
6/23/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require federal loan servicers to disclose annually to borrowers a description of available repayment plans, options for public service employees, and loan forgiveness and cancelations options. The disclosures must be branded as from the Department of Education and must be consumer tested. 
       
Know Your Repayment Options Act
HR 2968 Sponsor:
Rep. Swalwell (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (0 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
6/20/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would direct the Department of Education to provide all federal student loan borrowers with personalized repayment guides. The guides would be given to borrowers every year after receiving exit counseling until their federal loans are paid off. The guide described in the bill would tell borrowers their average anticipated monthly payment amount, yearly payment amount, lifetime payment amount, number of months remaining to pay off loans, amount that would be forgiven under all possible plans, and instructions for changing repayment plans.
       
REACH Act
HR 2926 Sponsor:
Rep. Meehan (R-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
23 (17 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
6/15/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Report and Educate About Campus Hazing (REACH) Act, would require institutions to include hazing incidents in the annual campus security report. In addition, institutions would be required to develop a hazing education program for students. 
       
RISE Act 
S. 1295 Sponsor:
Sen. Casey (D-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (2 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
6/6/2017
HR 2782 Sponsor:
Rep. Bonamici (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (2 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
6/6/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act, requires institutions, through their program participation agreement (PPA), to adopt several policies in support of students with disabilities, including publicly outlining the process by which an institution determines eligibility for accommodations. Institutions would also be required to report data about students with disabilities in federal postsecondary data collection efforts, including in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). 
 
College Transparency Act 
S. 1121 Sponsor:
Sen. Hatch (R-UT)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
5/15/2017
HR 2434 Sponsor:
Rep. Mitchell (R-MI)
Co-Sponsors:
27 (14 R; 13 D)
Introduced:
5/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create a new "postsecondary student data system," thereby repealing the ban on the federal government from collecting student-level data. Supported by NASFAA, the bill aims to modernize the federal data reporting system, thereby reducing data reporting burdens on institutions. The data system would contain data elements related to student enrollment, persistence, retention, transfer, and completion measures. The bill contains several privacy provisions and includes prohibitions on the collection of certain information, including religion, course grades, and citizenship status, among others. Ultimately, the new data collection will be used to create a user-friendly portal for the public to compare institutions. The bill's provisions apply to all institutions of higher education that receive Title IV federal student aid.
 
Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act 
HR 2151 Sponsor:
Rep. Pocan (D-WI)
Co-Sponsors:
51 (0 R; 51 D)
Introduced:
4/26/2017
S. 954 Sponsor:
Sen. Murray (D-WA)
Co-Sponsors:
20 (0 R; 19 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
4/26/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions to establish an anti-harassment policy prohibiting the harassment of enrolled students based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion. Institutions would be required to distribute their anti-harassment policy to all students and employees, including prospective students and employees, upon request. In addition, the bill authorizes an anti-bullying higher education competitive grant program. 
 
Net Price Calculator Improvement Act  
S. 889 Sponsor:
Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
4/7/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill seeks to improve existing net price calculators (NPC) and permits the Department of Education to develop a consumer-tested universal NPC.   
 
Understanding the True Cost of College Act    
S. 888 Sponsor:
Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (0 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
4/7/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require a standardized financial aid award letter that includes cost of attendance, grant aid, net cost after subtracting grant aid, work study assistance, eligible amounts of federal student loans, expected federal loan monthly repayment amounts, and several disclosures.   
       
Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act
HR 1635 Sponsor:
Rep. Guthrie (R-KY)
Co-Sponsors:
19 (14 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
3/20/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would change the current one-time entrance counseling requirement for student loans and Pell Grants into an annual counseling requirement. 
       
LEADS Act
HR 1429 Sponsor:
Rep. Messer (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
9 (7 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
3/8/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Letter of Estimated Annual Debt for Students (LEADS) Act, would require schools to provide students with annual notices of student loan borrowing amounts. The notice would also include the cumulative balance of education loans owed by the student at that date, the amount of any new loans to be disbursed during the academic year, the projected cumulative balance of education loans that will be owed after graduation, and projected monthly payment amounts assuming a standard repayment plan. The U.S. Department of Education would create a template for schools to comply.
       
Transparency in Student Lending Act
HR 1283 Sponsor:
Rep. Hultgren (R-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
3/1/2017
S. 749 Sponsor:
Sen. Enzi (R-WY)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/28/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions to disclose the annual percentage rate applicable to each federal student loan disbursed before disbursement. The annual percentage rate would include the amount of the loan, the stated interest rate of the loan, the standard term for a loan of the same type, any fees or additional costs associated with the loan, and any capitalization of interest on the loan. Disclosures must be provided "in writing" and "in a form the borrower may keep." 
       
Financial Literacy to Financial Freedom Act
HR 1193 Sponsor:
Rep. Trott (R-MI)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
2/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would allow institutions to mandate additional loan counseling. The counseling allowed in this bill would be in addition to current entrance counseling requirements. The bill would also require borrowers, including both parents and students, to sign a master promissory note, submit a written statement accepting the loan, or electronically sign a similar statement before loans can be disbursed.
 
Campus Gun Policy Transparency Act
HR 1079 Sponsor:
Rep. Ellison (D-MN)
Co-Sponsors:
4 (0 R; 4 D)
Introduced:
2/15/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would add information on campus firearm policies, specifically related to campus carry or open carry policies, to disclosures required for Clery Act compliance. In addition, institutions would be required to disclose these policies in a prominent location on their website and in admissions and recruitment materials.

 

Return to Legislative Tracker Overview

Publication Date: 10/18/2017


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