College Transparency Act Would Alter Data Collection Mechanisms for Students

"Congress continues to consider various education reform policies as the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act draws closer, leading the Committee on Education and the Workforce to debate the College Transparency Act," according to The Daily Tar Heel.

"The bill, currently in committee, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-M.I., last May and has 31 co-sponsors — 17 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

The bill would establish a student-level data network within the National Center for Education Statistics, which would take a limited amount of data from institutions and federal agencies to provide students with aggregate information about the institutions they are considering.

It would require the collection and inclusion of various data elements for the student network, such as enrollment statuses, attendance intensity and credential-seeking status.

...Amanda Roberson, a senior research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, said the CTA would allow for more university- and program-specific data, such as certain graduation and success rates that are not currently available, to be made available to students potentially deciding between two universities or the programs.

She said Foxx’s PROSPER Act would fill in some of the holes in data availability for students, especially after the creation of a student data-based dashboard to compare the statistics available from universities, but it wouldn't be as comprehensive as the CTA.

Roberson noted the more than 130 organizations that have signed in support of the CTA, such as the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, saying they are widely in favor as it would make the reporting of data much easier due to the student-level data network."

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Publication Date: 4/13/2018

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