Effort To Make Comparing College Costs Easier Stymied By Congress

"Congressional gridlock could imperil a new effort to make comparing college costs easier," according to Financial Advisor.

"Last week senators from competing parties representing districts with two Big 10 University football competitors (Democrat Al Franken whose domain includes the University of Minnesota and Republican Charles Grassley with the University of Iowa) joined to introduce a bill to force colleges to make their Web-based college affordability tools, called 'net price calculators,' for families easier to find on the Internet and easier to use and understand.

While the legislation has sponsors from both parties and is a companion to a House counterpart that boasts the same, in this stalled Congress a bill needs more than good intentions and the aura of bipartisanship to become law.

The House measure introduced in December has yet to have a hearing in Congress despite sponsorship by frequent vocal competitors on other issues, California Republican Darrell Issa and Maryland Democrat Elijah Cummings, and support from [NASFAA], the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and consumer groups. ...

Potentially the biggest benefit for families in the House and Senate bills is they both authorize the Secretary of Education to create a Web site that would let students answer one set of questions one time and get net price estimates from multiple colleges."

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