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 sessions of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Consumer Information & Transparency

 

*NEW* H.R.4193 - Student Loan Disclosure Transparency Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Shalala [D-FL]
Cosponsors: 5 (2D; 3R)
Introduced: 08/16/2019
NASFAA Summary & Analysis: This bipartisan student loan transparency bill would both increase the frequency with which students are provided federal loan disclosures, and add a number of items to the existing list of what servicers must disclose. The bill would also require servicers to add to the pre-repayment disclosure the projected monthly payment amount and the cost of allowing interest to capitalize versus paying interest as it accrues. In addition, the bill also makes several changes to disclosures required during repayment, the first of which is to have these disclosures begin within thirty days of disbursement and to be issued monthly, regardless of whether a payment is due.

 

S.2405 - Christopher Bryski Student Loan Protection Act

Sponsor: Sen. Menendez [D-NJ]
Cosponsors: 4 (4D; 0R)
Introduced: 07/31/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require more transparent disclosures by private education loan lenders. The bill would require private education loan lenders to disclose, clearly and conspicuously, a borrower's and co-signer's obligations in the event of each other's death, disability, or inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity. It would prohibit the lender from automatically declaring a performing loan to be in default or take other adverse action if such circumstances arise. It would also require private education loan lenders to automatically release co-signers from their obligations if certain conditions are met.

 

S.2225 - BASIC Act

Sponsor: Sen. Harris [D-CA]
Cosponsors: 2 (2D; 0R)
Introduced: 07/23/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require the Department of Education to identify students who may be eligible for public assistance and connect them to those programs. The bill would also create a grant to help institutions identify students who could benefit from public assistance programs. The BASIC Act would define basic needs as food, housing, transportation, child care, health care and technology.

 

H.R.3761 - Protecting Access to Student Transcripts Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Lee [D-NV]
Cosponsors: 4 (3D; 1R)
Introduced: 07/15/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would no longer allow institutions to bar students from receiving their academic transcripts if they have defaulted on their student loans.

 

S.2114 - ISA Student Protection Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Young [R-IN]
Cosponsors: 3 (2D; 1R)
Introduced: 07/15/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would legislation that would establish guidelines and add consumer protections to income-share agreements (ISAs), which are gaining attention as alternatives to traditional student loans, but are currently unregulated. The bill establishes that ISAs are not considered credit, and that ISA providers are not considered creditors, as those terms are defined in the Truth In Lending Act (TILA). Therefore, disclosure and timing requirements under TILA do not apply. The bill sets a minimum income (200% of the Federal Poverty Level), below which ISA recipients would not be required to make payments based on a percentage of their income. The bill specifies that neither funding received through ISAs nor any difference between the ISA amount received and the amount ultimately repaid would be considered taxable income. It also specifies that amounts received from ISAs are not considered income or assets for the purposes of calculating the Expected Family Contribution. 

 

H.R.3354 - Time for Completion Act

Sponsor: Rep. Fudge, Marcia L. [D-OH]
Cosponsors: 1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced: 06/19/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions to report the percentage of students who complete their program on time, 150 percent of the normal time, 200 percent of the normal time, and 300 percent of the normal time. This information would be desegregated by program and type of student.

 

H.R.3487 - PRO Students Act

Sponsor: Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA]
Cosponsors: 0
Introduced: 06/25/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill addresses several issues regarding institutional accountability and consumer protections. The bill seeks to reform the 90-10 rule to 85-15, establish a Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Committee, and restrict the usage of federal student aid dollars to fund institutional marketing and recruitment. The bill would require institutions to deliver a disclosure statement to students before they complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN).

 

H.R.3519 - Better Service to Borrowers Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Schrier, Kim [D-WA]
Cosponsors: 3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced: 06/26/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill seeks to establish a standardized manual for loan servicers to ensure quality of servicing.

 

S.2015 - Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act

Sponsor: Sen. Scott, Tim [R-SC]
Cosponsors: 1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 06/27/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish a plain language disclosure form for student borrowers.

 

H.R.3547 - Students and Young Consumers Empowerment Act

Sponsor: Rep. Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR]
Cosponsors: 1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 6/27/019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish the position of Assistant Director and Student Loan Borrower Advocate of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, and establish the Office for Students and Young Consumers of the Bureau.

 

H.R.2321 - Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Van Drew (D-NJ)
Cosponsors: 0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced: 04/12/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would mandate standard terminology and a standard format for financial aid award offers.

 

H.R.2129 - Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act

Sponsor: Rep. Guthrie (R-KY)
Cosponsors: 1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 04/08/2019
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.

 

H.R.2006 - College Equity Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Shalala (D-FL)
Cosponsors: 15 (0 R; 15 D)
Introduced: 04/01/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would establish a competitive grant program for institutions of higher education to address inequities by identifying and correcting disparities. The bill also requires higher education accrediting agencies to assess the findings of equity audits of institutions they oversee and provide related technical assistance and support.

 

S.889 - Net Price Calculator Improvement Act

Sponsor: Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors: 2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 03/27/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow the creation of a centralized website to allow students to compare estimates of their net price for individual institutions across multiple colleges at once.

 

S.888 - Understanding the True Cost of College Act

Sponsor: Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors: 1 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 03/27/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would mandate standard terminology and a standard format for financial aid award offers.

 

S.887- Know Before You Owe Federal Student Loan Act

Sponsor: Sen. Grassley (R-IA)
Co-Sponsors: 2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 03/27/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require entrance counseling, renamed "Pre-Loan Counseling," to be administered before the disbursement of each new loan in each award year. This bill would also create periodic disclosures, which would be sent to every loan borrower on a quarterly basis, which contain updated information on how much they've borrowed, any interest capitalization that has occurred and their individual borrower information.

 

S.800 - College Transparency Act

Sponsor: Sen. Cassidy (R-LA)
Co-Sponsors: 17 (9 R; 8 D)
Introduced: 03/14/2019
H.R.1766
Sponsor: Rep. Mitchell (R-MI)
Co-Sponsors: 12 (5 R; 7 D)
Introduced: 03/14/2019
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.

 

S.720 - CFPB Student Loan Integrity and Transparency Act of 2019

Sponsor: Sen. Udall (D-NM)
Co-Sponsors: 11 (0 R; 11 D)
Introduced:03/07/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require that the Department of Education provide data on Federal Direct Loans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

H.R.1565 - Student Right to Know Before You Go Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Hunter (R-CA)
Co-Sponsors: 3 (2 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 03/06/2019
S.681
Sponsor: Sen. Wyden (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors: 2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced: 03/06/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would facilitate the creation of a "Higher Education Data System." In addition to all current IPEDS metrics, this system would collect data, such as the percentage of students receiving federal, state, institutional and private loans and grants, student completion rates, mean and median Federal loan debt, loan repayment rates at 2-, 6-, and 15-year intervals, information on transfer students, and drop percentages. The data would also look at different student groups such as, enrollment status, veteran status, Pell Grant status, gender, age, and first-generation status.

 

H.R.1571 - Debt-Free College Act of 2019

Sponsor: Rep. Pocan (D-WI)
Co-Sponsors: 32 (0 R; 32 D)
Introduced: 03/06/2019
S.672
Sponsor: Sen. Schatz (D-HI)
Co-Sponsors: 9 (0 R; 9 D)
Introduced: 03/06/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create a State-Federal partnership program that aims to provide a debt-free college experience. This program would create a commitment to cover remaining unmet financial need for eligible students. To be eligible students would need to be enrolled at an eligible institution in the state they reside, complete the FAFSA and meet SAP requirements. This bill would authorize $84 billion to create the partnership program. In addition, the Debt-Free College Act would provide full Title IV eligibility for Dreamer students and repeal the suspension of Title IV aid for students with drug-related offenses.

 

H.R.1161 - Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act

Sponsor: Rep. Cleaver (D-MO)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
02/13/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require Direct Loan borrowers to acknowledge in writing that they have read a Plain Language Disclosure Form before receiving any new Direct Loan. The bill would require consumer testing of the form, and directs the Department of Education (ED) to consult with the Federal Reserve Board, which has a consumer-tested two-page model disclosure form for private loans. In developing its form, ED would also be required to consult with institutions, borrowers, and other student aid stakeholders.

 

S.234 - Transparency in Student Lending Act

Sponsor: Sen. Enzi (R-WY)
Co-Sponsors: 2 (2 R; 0 D)
Introduced: 01/28/2019
H.R.811
Sponsor:
Rep. Curtis (R-UT)
Co-Sponsors: 5 (5 R; 0 D)
Introduced: 01/28/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions and servicers of federal student loans to provide to borrowers, before the first disbursement of each loan, in addition to disclosure information already required related to loans, the annual percentage rate applicable to each loan the borrower receives must be provided.

 

H.R.63 - Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act

Sponsor: Rep. Banks (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors: 0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced: 01/03/2019
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require Direct Loan borrowers to acknowledge in writing that they have read a Plain Language Disclosure Form before receiving any new Direct Loan. The bill would require consumer testing of the form, and directs the Department of Education (ED) to consult with the Federal Reserve Board, which has a consumer-tested two-page model disclosure form for private loans. In developing its form, ED would also be required to consult with institutions, borrowers, and other student aid stakeholders.

 

Return to Legislative Tracker Overview

Publication Date: 9/4/2019


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