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What They’re Saying: The Levin Amendment Threatens Students’ Right to Privacy

Today, the House will vote on the Levin Amendment which empowers the Department of Education to the collect the private and sensitive information of college students - including income, race, and disability information - without their consent and without giving them the option to opt-out, even if they refuse federal financial aid. This amendment threatens Americans’ right to choose how their private data is collected and used.

Don’t just take our word for it; here’s what stakeholders are saying:

"This Amendment – and the College Transparency Act – violates the privacy of every American who seeks to pursue a postsecondary education by creating a federal student-specific database. HSLDA has long opposed the creation of such a database because we believe that it would threaten the privacy of students, could be abused by government officials or business interests that may gain access to the data, and threaten the safety of young people if their data is breached.” James R. Mason, Esq., Home School Legal Defense Association Action

“Thank you Ranking Member @virginiafoxx and @EdLaborGOP for standing strong to protect student privacy. We DO NOT TRUST a federal database housing our personal information for unlimited uses. The Levin Amdt to the America CONCEDES bill is a NO-GO!” – Young Women For America

“The Levin Amendment expands Pell Grant eligibility to short-term programs at private nonprofit and public institutions. The amendment prohibits ALL for-profit colleges, including the very best vocational and career oriented institutions, from participating. For-profit colleges have pioneered thousands of short-term programs across the country to prepare students to succeed as heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, aviation technicians, and other in-demand careers. Students attending for-profit colleges should be eligible for any expansion in the Pell Grant program.” – Career Education Colleges and Universities

“This one needs as much daylight as Punxsutawney Phil: Upcoming House vote on Levin Amendment to China competitiveness bill including section creating first-ever national database of personal information on EVERY U.S. college student. That’s not transparency, that’s exploitation.” – Concerned Women For America LAC

“This Amendment – and the College Transparency Act – violate the privacy of American children, students at institutions of higher education, graduates of institutions of higher education, workforce participants, and private institutions of higher education themselves.” – William A. Estrada, Esq.,

“The CTA language would allow the government to not only collect data directly from colleges and universities for all full-time and part-time students, including their enrollment status, attendance, age, gender and race, but also to potentially include information pertaining to their “status as a confined or incarcerated individual”, disabilities, and/or first-generation college student… The College Transparency Act raises serious concerns about how the data of our students can be used and abused. – Parent Coalition for Student Privacy and Congressman Jamaal Bowman

“Although NAICU supports increased transparency, we also believe that the confidentiality of students' personal information should not be sacrificed in the process. Other legislation introduced in previous congressional sessions, such as the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, is preferable because it would provide a better balance between transparency and student privacy.” National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

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