U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is teaming up with two Senate Democrats to offer a proposal offering more transparency on the costs of higher education.
On Thursday, Rubio paired up with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oreg., to showcase the “Student Right to Know Before You Go Act.” The proposal would ensure potential college students are provided data about colleges and universities including graduation rates, costs, debts associated with attending the school and expected salaries of graduates. Rubio and Wyden have championed similar proposals before in the Senate. The bill also ensures privacy protection measures for colleges and universities sharing the data.
“A college education is one of the most important investments that many students and families will make in their lifetime,” Rubio said. “Students could benefit from a comprehensive system detailing the projected costs and financial outcomes of the school and area of study the student is planning to pursue – before they take out thousands of dollars in student loans. The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act could help American families make better informed and more cost-effective higher education decisions.”
“Deciding where to go to college shouldn’t be based on guesswork,” Wyden said. “The Know Before You Go Act puts the power back in students’ and families’ hands by giving them the opportunity to make the best possible choices for themselves about where to spend their hard-earned dollars. Our updated, bipartisan bill empowers students and families without forcing tradeoffs that sacrifice individual privacy or data security.”
“For college-bound students, choosing where to enroll and what to study are critical choices. Yet students and their families don’t have access to all the information they need to know whether they are making a smart investment,” Warner said. “Students’ choices of school and program have a host of real-world implications, including on their earning potential, likelihood to graduate, and accumulated student loan debt. This legislation does more to protect student privacy, while making meaningful, contextualized information readily accessible to students as they make key decisions about their futures.”
The senators noted that currently information provided to prospective students in the admissions process often only focuses on parts of the data, including focusing on fulltime first-time freshmen instead of non-traditional students.
A group of congressmen unveiled a similar proposal in the U.S. House on Wednesday. U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is the chief sponsor of the House bill with U.S. Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., as cosponsors.
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