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Congressmen Krishnamoorthi and Mitchell Lead Coalition Of More Than 70 Members Requesting College Transparency Act’s Inclusion In Omnibus Spending Bill

December 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Congressman Paul Mitchell led a letter of over 70 Members in the U.S. House of Representatives to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to request that the College Transparency Act (CTA) be included in the year-end omnibus spending bill. 

“Particularly given that the ongoing financial challenges facing our country may extend years into the future, coupled with growing national student debt, CTA will help students find the programs that best prepare them to enter the workforce with skills employers need by providing them with accurate earnings and employment information on both the institution and program level before they decide where to enroll, what to study, and how to pay for it,” the Representatives wrote.

The bipartisan legislation amends the existing college reporting system, which is currently incomplete and inefficient since current law prohibits the federal government from collecting and reporting accurate data on student outcomes. The current system leaves millions of American families in the dark without fully understanding the return on investment as they make their decisions concerning this enormous investment in their children’s future. 

Specifically, the College Transparency Act would establish a privacy-protected postsecondary data system at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which would collect and report on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college success to help prospective students determine which programs of study efficiently support their career aspirations. This new data reporting system would be organized by factors such as race, ethnicity, veteran’s status, and more. NCES would securely store student information within this data system and work with relevant federal agencies to generate post-college outcomes reports, and would provide a summary of the information in a user-friendly website for students and families. Importantly, this new system would aid institutions of learning and policymakers in their work to improve our country’s postsecondary education system, ensure employers have the talent pipeline they need to grow the economy, strengthen equity and access for all Americans to achieve a high-quality education, and allow students and families to make well-informed decisions so that yield a return on their investment.

Representatives Andy Barr, Michael Cloud, Mike Gallagher, Roger Marshall, John Moolenaar, Lloyd Smucker, Bryan Steil, Steve Stivers, Steve Watkins, Robert J. Wittman, Danny K. Davis, Vincente Gonzalez, Hank Johnson, Susie Lee, Gregory Meeks, Katie Porter, Albio Sires, Elissa Slotkin, Bennie G. Thompson, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Salud Carbajal, Judy Chu, Matt Cartwright, Dwight Evans, Jared Huffman, Ann M. Kuster, Joseph Morelle, Donald Norcross, Tom O’Halleran, Abigail Spanberger, Paul Tonko, Xochitl Torres Small, Lori Trahan, Nydia M. Velázquez, Ro Khanna, John Joyce, Darin LaHood, Debbie Lesko, Josh Harder, David Trone, Juan Vargas, Marc Veasey, Debbie Dingell, Conor Lamb, Daniel T. Kildee, Lauren Underwood, Emanuel Cleaver II, Henry Cuellar, Adriano Espaillat, John Garamendi, Stephen F. Lynch, Luis Correa, Jason Crow, Ted W. Lieu, Anthony G. Brown, Katherine Clark, Don Beyer, Tony Cárdenas, Colin Allred, G.K Butterfield, David Cicilline, Jim Cooper, Eliot L. Engel, Ed Perlmutter, Kathleen Rice, Mary Gay Scanlon, Donna Shalala, Darren Soto, and Dean Phillips joined Congressman Krishnamoorthi and Congressman Mitchell in signing the letter.

“With overwhelming bipartisan and bicameral support, we strongly believe CTA should be included in an end of year legislative package, such as any appropriations spending measure that passes Congress,” the Representatives wrote. “With an enacted and operational student-level data system as provided under CTA, students and families, policymakers, institutions of higher education, and employers will have access to more complete information about college access, success, costs, and outcomes so that they can make more informed decisions.”

The College Transparency Act has broad bipartisan, bicameral support. It has been cosponsored by 234 representatives (151 Democrats and 83 Republicans), and it has 37 cosponsors in the Senate (20 Republicans and 17 Democrats). The legislation also has the support of over 200 civil rights, youth, business, veterans, education, and workforce development organizations.

A copy of the letter is available here.