“Today’s passage of the College Transparency Act is a monumental victory for millions of students and their families who stand to benefit from more robust data on student outcomes such as comprehensive graduation rates, typical debt load, and earnings throughout students’ careers. For most students, choosing an institution and academic program is one of the most consequential decisions of their lives. Current federal data paints an incomplete picture of student outcomes, failing to count all students’ accomplishments and leaving prospective students in the dark on critical outcomes. The College Transparency Act would fix this.
“For nearly a decade, APLU, the public university community, and partners spanning a broad array of organizations representing industry, students, veterans, and many others have led the effort to lift the ban on student-level data to give students, policymakers, and schools critical information on student outcomes to help shape their decision and work to improve outcomes. While sounding the alarm about the need for this data, APLU has been a leader in the higher education community in creating voluntary stopgap measures such as the Student Achievement Measure to give stakeholders a more complete picture of student outcomes. Data from the College Transparency Act would also lift evidence-based efforts by colleges and universities to close equity gaps, shorten time to degree, and boost graduation rates.
“The inclusion of the College Transparency Act is a major legislative accomplishment. But much work still lies ahead to get this legislation across the finish line. As both chambers of Congress work on this legislation within conference, we strongly urge the inclusion of the College Transparency Act in final legislation headed for President Biden’s signature.”