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Committee Introduces Legislation to Enhance Higher Education Transparency

House Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans, led by Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), today introduced the Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act (H.R. 1949), legislation that would direct the Department of Education to explore opportunities to enhance higher education transparency.

“To choose the right college, students and their families need clear information up front – but too often, the available data is confusing, conflicting, or difficult to access,” said Chairman John Kline (R-MN).  “In the coming months, the committee will begin working to reauthorize the nation’s higher education law, and improving transparency will be a top priority. Rep. Messer’s legislation will take an important first step in this effort by helping us figure out what kind of information students have, want, and need when researching their postsecondary options, and I applaud his leadership.”

“Few decisions in life are bigger than whether to attend college and which college to attend,” said Rep. Messer. “Yet many families find it a challenge to wade through the complicated maze of statistics available for this important decision.  Through this bill, we hope to simplify the process and help students get access to the information they really need to make good decisions while lessening the burden on colleges and universities that have far too many reporting requirements today.”

The Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act:
  • Directs the Secretary of Education to convene an Advisory Committee on Improving Postsecondary Education Data to explore opportunities to enhance higher education transparency.
  • Requires the advisory committee to review existing federal, state, institutional, and private-sector transparency initiatives to determine the information that is most helpful to both traditional and non-traditional students, including student veterans. The advisory committee must also make recommendations to eliminate data that is no longer useful to students and their families.
  • Directs the advisory committee to explore whether information about college graduates’ earnings would serve as an effective measure of program quality for prospective students.
  • Instructs the advisory committee to solicit feedback from students and families as part of its study. The committee must issue its recommendations within a year of enactment to assist congressional efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
To learn more about H.R. 1949, visit

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