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Foxx, McClain React to Damning GAO Report on Financial Aid, Introduce College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act

Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Rep. Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced the College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act, which makes college cost decisions more consumer friendly. The Congresswomen introduced this legislation in response to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which found nearly two-thirds of colleges are not following best practice recommendations regarding financial aid offer letters.
“According to the GAO, 91 percent of colleges omit or underestimate the actual price students must pay in their financial aid offers. This is egregious and unacceptable,” said Foxx and McClain. “Colleges and universities must do better. Prospective students deserve to have all the information necessary to make informed decisions about their education. Schools should strive to provide students with accurate and transparent information about college costs instead of hiding behind opaque language and misleading practices.
“Since these institutions refuse to hold themselves accountable, Congress must pass legislation to protect students and families. That’s why we are introducing the College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act. This legislation will empower students and families throughout the college shopping process and prevent postsecondary institutions from hiding their true price tag.”
To read the GAO report, click here
To read the bill text, click here
To read the bill summary, click here
To read the bill fact sheet, click here

Background: GAO examined whether students were receiving accurate information on expected costs from their prospective colleges and universities. It found that nearly half of colleges and universities are packaging loans in ways that mislead students about what they are obligated to pay. For example, one institution presented its aid offer to a low-income student claiming out-of-pocket costs would be $350 for the academic year; however, this estimate was off by more than $47,000.


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