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* Consumers First Act
HR 6972 Sponsor:
Rep. Waters (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (0 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
9/28/2018 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would create an 'Office of Students and Young Consumers' within the Offices of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would provide services to students, young people, and their families to help them make informed financial decisions regarding paying and saving for college. The office would also help to educate about financial products and services, including private education loans, and the rights and responsibilities borrowers have if they choose to take them. 
       
Aim Higher Act
HR 6543 Sponsor:
Rep. Scott (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
57 (0 R; 57 D)
Introduced:
7/26/2018 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Aim Higher Act is a comprehensive Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill with notable changes to the federal student aid programs. 
       
Transparency in Student Loan Consultation Act
HR 6473 Sponsor:
Rep. DeLauro (D-CT)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/23/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill would require institutions and third-party servicers to include, in any repayment-related information provided to borrowers, an explanation of all available options due to the borrower's circumstances. In cases where borrowers have past-due payments or are requesting default prevention, aversion, or debt management counseling, institutions and third-party servicers would be required to provide information about the borrower's repayment status and schedule, as well as all options for making, scheduling, postponing, or reducing loan payments (including loan forgiveness, cancellation, deferment, and forbearance).  
       
Know Before You Owe Private Education Loan Act 
HR 6352 Sponsor:
Rep. Polis (D-CO)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
7/12/2018
S. 3205 Sponsor:
Sen. Durbin (D-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
5 (0 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
7/12/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would amend both the Higher Education Act and the Truth in Lending Act to require full institutional certification of all private student loans. The bills would require private lenders to obtain students' cost of attendance and outstanding need information directly from institutions — schools would then certify that the student applicant is enrolled or is scheduled to enroll at their institutions. In turn, institutions would provide borrowers with disclosures about their Title IV eligibility, information about the advantages of federal student loans and their terms, the impact of a private education loan, and the borrower's right to accept or reject private education loans. The bills would direct the CFPB and ED to report jointly to Congress on (1) compliance by both institutions and lenders, and (2) the degree to which specific institutions utilize certifications to effectively encourage the exhaustion of federal student loan eligibility and lower student private education loan debt. Finally, the bills would amend the Truth in Lending Act to exclude federal loans under Titles VII and VIII of the Public Health Service Act from the definition of a private education loan.  
 
REDUCE Act
HR 5916 Sponsor:
Rep. Reed (R-NY)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
5/22/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Reducing Excessive Debt and Unfair Costs of Education (REDUCE) Act, would require certain institutions to report cost of attendance and grant information for “working-family students,” and would add additional consumer information disclosures around endowment management, institutional aid, major donor gifts, and legacy status to the College Navigator. The legislation would impose a tax on the “wealthiest” institutions of higher education (defined as those with an aggregate endowment asset value of at least $500,000 per student) that fail to direct 25 percent of endowment growth value toward grants for “working-family students” (defined as those with a household income below 600 percent of the poverty line) each year. The bill would allocate tax receipts from this provision into the Federal Pell Grant Program. 
       
Help Students Vote Act
HR 5564 Sponsor:
Rep. Krishnamoorthi (D-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (0 R; 6 D)
Introduced:
4/18/2018
S. 2699 Sponsor:
Sen. Booker (D-NJ)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
4/18/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would require institutions to distribute voter registration information not less than twice per year and at least 30 days in advance of the deadline for registering to vote within the State for the next scheduled Federal or State primary or general election. The bill would also require institutions to designate an individual on campus as the 'Campus Vote Coordinator.' The bill also includes enforcement action provisions should a school not comply with the requirements under the bill. 
 
AID Act
HR 5550 Sponsor:
Rep. DeFazio (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
4/18/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Achieving Independence through Degrees (AID) Act, makes a number of changes to the federal student aid programs. The bill increases the Pell Grant maximum award to $9,970 and indexes the maximum award to inflation for subsequent award years. In addition, the bill expands Pell Grant eligibility to certain short-term programs and increases the semester eligibility limit to 15 semesters from 12. The bill would require annual loan counseling and uses the counseling language in the PROSPER Act; however, this bill would not require annual counseling for Pell Grant recipients. The bill eliminates the drug conviction provision for student eligibility and requires a financial aid shopping sheet as a nationwide standardized student aid award letter. Finally, the bill would allow certain students to qualify for SNAP based on EFC or certain dependency status questions. 
       
SCORE Act
HR 5110 Sponsor:
Rep. Price (D-NC)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
2/27/2018
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill, the Standardization of Collegiate Oversight of Revenues and Expenditures (SCORE) Act, would require institutions of higher education to report specific revenue and expense categories by each sports team. In addition, as part of the program participation agreement (PPA), a school may not be a member of any intercollegiate athletic association that does not also report several categories of revenue and expense information. 
       
Truth in Tuition Act
HR 4715 Sponsor:
Rep. Cartwright (D-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (1 R; 12 D)
Introduced:
12/21/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require institutions to provide to each admitted undergraduate or graduate student a multi-year tuition and fee schedule or a single-year tuition and fee schedule with a multi-year estimate of future costs. 
       
Empowering Student Borrowers Act
S. 2224 Sponsor:
Sen. Donnelly (D-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
12/13/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would require institutions to disclose to students an annual estimate of student loan borrowing costs (debt letter) for both federal and private loans (of which the institution is aware of). The estimates must include cumulative balances and projected monthly payments. Estimates must be provided to students in "hard copy format" on institutional letterhead by electronic mail and delivered separately from other disclosures in HEA. In addition, the bill would require the Department of Education to develop best practices for financial literacy.  
       
PROSPER Act
HR 4508 Sponsor:
Rep. Foxx (R-NC) 
Co-Sponsors:
21 (21 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
12/1/2017 
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act is a comprehensive Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill with notable changes to the federal student aid programs. 
Status: 12/13/2017: Passed House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce
 
Christopher's Law
S. 2180 Sponsor:
Sen. Menendez (D-NJ)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (0 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
11/30/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require private education loan lenders to disclose, clearly and conspicuously, a borrower's and cosigner's obligations in the event of each other's death, disability, or inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity.
 
Student Right to Know Before You Go Act
HR 4479 Sponsor:
Rep. Hunter (R-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
11/29/2017
S. 2169 Sponsor:
Sen. Wyden (D-OR)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (1 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
11/29/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This piece of legislation would require institutions to report post-graduation average annual earnings; rates of remedial enrollment, credit accumulation, and graduation; average cost (both before and after financial aid) of the program; and average debt accumulated. Data collected under the bill would be disaggregated and available in a data system based on educational program, educational institution, and employment sector. 
 
Student Loan Disclosure Modernization Act
HR 4119 Sponsor:
Rep. Messer (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (12 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
10/25/2017
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.
       
Higher Education and Employment Transparency Act
HR 4048 Sponsor:
Rep. Carson (D-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
10/12/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would require the Department of Education (ED) and institutions to provide a link to up-to-date information on Occupational Employment Statistics for prospective and current students. 
       
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:
24 (19 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
3/20/2017
S. 2081 Sponsor:
Sen. Warner (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
3 (1 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
11/6/2017
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. 
Status: 9/5/2018: Passed House of Representatives 
       
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.
       
Comprehensive Student Achievement Information Act
S. 351 Sponsor:
Sen. Hatch (R-UT)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
2/13/2017
Sponsor:
Rep. Love (R-UT)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
10/25/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill expands disclosure requirements to also include the completion or graduation rates of non-first time and half-time certificate- or degree-seeking undergraduate students. The bill also sets forth new time periods for calculating the completion or graduation rates for programs of study that are less than four years.

 

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Publication Date: 10/30/2018


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