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Strengthening America’s Higher Education System

With the summer in full-swing, students and prospective students are making important choices about their higher education. Mary Anna Dennard, founder of CollegeAuditionCoach.com, writes in Huffington Post:

College tuition is at an all-time high, as are the stakes for families across the country. Students struggle with decisions about where to apply and which major to choose. It’s a pivotal time for parents, students, and college advisors. 

To help students pursue a college education, the House Education and the Workforce Committee recently passed three bipartisan bills that will support innovation, strengthen the transparency of college data, and enhance financial aid counseling. The legislative proposals are part of a broader effort to strengthen the nation’s higher education system.

  • Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) 
    • Promotes innovation in higher education by directing the secretary of education to implement competency-based education demonstration projects.
    • Provides accountability by requiring an annual evaluation of each demonstration project to determine program quality.
    • Delivers greater flexibility to institutions that want to provide students a more personalized, cost-effective education.
  • Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 4983)  
    • Requires the secretary of education to create a consumer-tested College Dashboard that would display key information students need when deciding which school to attend.
    • Instructs the secretary to provide a link to the page of each institution listed on a student’s FAFSA to make sure students know this information is available.
    • Streamlines and eliminates unnecessary information and federal transparency initiatives.
  • Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984) 
    • Ensures both students and parents who participate in a federal loan program receive interactive counseling each year that reflects their individual borrowing situation.
    • Provides awareness about the financial obligations students and parents are accumulating by requiring borrowers to consent each year before receiving federal student loans.
    • Directs the secretary of education to maintain and disseminate a consumer-tested, online counseling tool institutions can use to provide annual loan counseling, exit counseling, and annual Pell Grant counseling.

House Republicans are determined to strengthen America’s higher education system and provide students the tools they need to succeed. To learn more about the committee’s efforts to reform the Higher Education Act, visit http://edworkforce.house.gov/highered/.

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