WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, joined U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and his colleagues in introducing the College Transparency Act (CTA), bipartisan legislation which would ensure that students and families have better information as they consider higher education opportunities. The CTA modernizes the college reporting system for postsecondary data by providing accurate reporting on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college earnings across colleges and majors, while ensuring the privacy of individual students is securely protected.

This information will give students a better understanding of what to expect of the student experience and post-graduation prospects at colleges they are considering, helping them to make better decisions about the schools and programs of study that are best suited to their unique needs and desired outcomes. It will also promote better outcomes by aiding institutions of learning and policymakers in their work to improve our country’s post-secondary education system.

“The cost of a college degree is out of control, and too many students are left wondering if the experience they’re getting is worth the tuition. This bipartisan legislation would help make sure kids and their families have the information they need to decide which school is the right fit before they commit years of their life and potentially take on tens of thousands of dollars in debt,” said Murphy.

“College costs and student debt continue to soar. Students should have all the facts at their disposal and understand the value of their investment and likely outcomes,” said Cassidy. “The College Transparency Act gives students and parents a tool to make better decisions about where to attend college.”

“Students and their families need a clear understanding of how colleges support their students – including data on their enrollment, transfer, and graduation rates – so they can make informed decisions when choosing a college,” said Warren. “The College Transparency Act would close the information gap so that students and families finally have the tools they need to choose the best school for them.”

The current college reporting system is overly burdensome on institutions yet provides little practical information for students and families due to significant gaps in college data reporting. Under the updated system, institutions would securely report privacy-protected, student-level data to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES would be responsible for securely storing student information, working with relevant federal agencies to generate post-college outcomes reports, and presenting the summary information on a user-friendly website for students and families.

The bill is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Mitt Romney (R-Utah). U.S. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.-8) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.-2) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Full text of the bill is available here. A summary of the bill is available here.