NACAC endorses legislation to increase oversight of for-profit colleges

Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced legislation to convene an inter-agency committee to oversee for-profit colleges. NACAC is among several organizations supporting the bill, which seeks to address a gap in inter-governmental oversight of the for-profit college industry. The committee would improve enforcement of accountability regulations, meet with State Attorneys General and other stakeholders to coordinate federal and state oversight; create a complaint collection and tracking system for students, parents, and stakeholders, and publish a whole-of-government report and a For-Profit College Warning List for Parents and Students made up of for-profit colleges that have engaged in illegal activities or for which there is sufficient evidence of widespread or systemic fraudulent or predatory practices. The bill’s introduction was covered by Higher Ed Dive.

GAO report and legislation on student aid notification letters

In early December, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that pointed out significant deviations from what it defined as best practice for student aid notification letters. In response to the report’s findings, House Republicans introduced new legislation titled, “College Cost Transparency and Student Protection Act.” The legislation would create new requirements for institutions to clearly communicate the financial aid offered to students and what students would pay to attend an institution, including “an itemized list of indirect costs they have the option to finance and what resources they have available to do so.” It would also require the Secretary of Education to update the College Scorecard to reflect the average cost of attendance and average net price, as well as both the direct and indirect costs of attendance. Read the full bill text, the bill summary, and the bill fact sheet.