Fitzpatrick Helps Introduce Higher Ed Transparency Bill

Bipartisan Measure Provides Increased Information on College Costs

December 1, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), André Carson (D-IN), and Scott Peters (D-CA) have introduced the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill providing greater transparency in the cost of higher education.  U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate at the same time.

The Student Right to Know Before You Go Act of 2017 establishes new metrics to be published by the Department of Education to focus on data that provides future students and their families with information post-graduation average annual earnings, rate/amount of federal loan debt, rates of remedial enrollment, credit accumulation, and graduation rates among other data sets.  Specifically, the legislation will:

  • Empower students and families with the tools needed for a more complete picture of the value of their education;
  • Make accurate, easy to understand data available online for prospective students and their families;
  • Authorize the release of information that currently exists, but not currently accessible;
  • Match student records with employment and earnings data;
  • Ensure results will be highly accurate and informative.

A critical provision of the legislation is the requirement for the use of secure multi-party computation (MPC), an advanced encryption technique, to generate statistical data based on student information from colleges and universities as well as loan and income information from government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Education.  The process ensures the protection of the underlying data, so no entity is forced to “give up” sensitive information in a form that is accessible to others.

A one-page summary and a chart of the bill’s key provisions can be found by clicking here, alongside a section-by-section outline.