H.R. 1911: Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013

113th Congress, 2013–2015. Text as of Jun 03, 2013 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO and Cato Institute Deepbills

II

Calendar No. 139

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1911

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 3, 2013

Received

July 17, 2013

Read the first time

July 18, 2013

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

AN ACT

To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish interest rates for new loans made on or after July 1, 2013, to direct the Secretary of Education to convene the Advisory Committee on Improving Postsecondary Education Data to conduct a study on improvements to postsecondary education transparency at the Federal level, and for other purposes.

1.

Table of Contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Table of Contents.

Title I—Smarter Solutions for Students Act

Sec. 101. Short title.

Sec. 102. Student loan interest rates.

Sec. 103. Budgetary effects.

Title II—Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act

Sec. 201. Short title.

Sec. 202. Study on improvements to postsecondary education transparency at the Federal level.

I

Smarter Solutions for Students Act

101.

Short title

This title may be cited as the Smarter Solutions for Students Act .

102.

Student loan interest rates

Section 455(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1087e(b) ) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (7)

(A)

in the paragraph heading, by inserting , and before July 1, 2013 after 2006 ;

(B)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting and before July 1, 2013, after 2006,;

(C)

in subparagraph (B), by inserting and before July 1, 2013, after 2006,; and

(D)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting and before July 1, 2013, after 2006,;

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (8) and (9) as paragraphs (9) and (10), respectively; and

(3)

by inserting after paragraph (7), the following:

(8)

Interest rate provision for new loans on or after July 1, 2013

(A)

Rates for fdsl and fdusl

Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2013, the applicable rate of interest shall, during any 12-month period beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30, be determined on the preceding June 1 and be equal to—

(i)

the high-yield 10-year Treasury notes auctioned at the final auction held prior to such June 1; plus

(ii)

2.5 percent,

except that such rate shall not exceed 8.5 percent.
(B)

PLUS Loans

Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, for any Federal Direct PLUS Loan for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2013, the applicable rate of interest shall, during any 12-month period beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30, be determined on the preceding June 1 and be equal to—

(i)

the high-yield 10-year Treasury notes auctioned at the final auction held prior to such June 1; plus

(ii)

4.5 percent,

except that such rate shall not exceed 10.5 percent.
(C)

Consolidation Loans

Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, any Federal Direct Consolidation Loan for which the application is received on or after July 1, 2013, shall bear interest at an annual rate on the unpaid principal balance of the loan that is equal to the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans consolidated, rounded to the nearest higher one-eighth of one percent.

.

103.

Budgetary effects

(a)

Paygo scorecard

The budgetary effects of this Act shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained pursuant to section 4(d) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.

(b)

Senate paygo scorecard

The budgetary effects of this Act shall not be entered on any PAYGO scorecard maintained for purposes of section 201 of S. Con. Res. 21 (110th Congress).

II

Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act

201.

Short title

This title may be cited as the Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act.

202.

Study on improvements to postsecondary education transparency at the Federal level

(a)

Formation of Advisory Committee on Improving Postsecondary Education Data

(1)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education shall convene the Advisory Committee on Improving Postsecondary Education Data (in this Act referred to as the Advisory Committee), which shall be comprised of 15 members who represent economically, racially, and geographically diverse populations appointed by the Secretary in consultation with the Commissioner for Education Statistics, including—

(A)

individuals representing different sectors of institutions of higher education, including individuals representing undergraduate and graduate education;

(B)

experts in the field of higher education policy;

(C)

State officials;

(D)

students and other stakeholders from the higher education community;

(E)

representatives from the business community;

(F)

experts in choice in consumer markets;

(G)

privacy experts;

(H)

college and career counselors at secondary schools;

(I)

experts in data policy, collection, and use; and

(J)

experts in labor markets.

(2)

Chairperson

The Secretary shall appoint the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee.

(b)

Study required

The Advisory Committee shall conduct a study examining—

(1)

the types of information, including information related to costs of postsecondary education, sources of financial assistance (including Federal student loans), student outcomes, and postgraduation earnings, the Federal Government should collect and report on institutions of higher education to assist students and families in their search for an institution of higher education;

(2)

how such information should be collected and reported, including how to disaggregate information on student outcomes by subgroups of students, such as full-time students, part-time students, nontraditional students, first generation college students, students who are veterans, and Federal Pell Grant recipients under subpart 1 of part A of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1070a ); and

(3)

the ways in which the Federal Government may make such information more readily available to—

(A)

students and their families in a format that is easily accessible and understandable, and will aid students and their families in making decisions; and

(B)

States, local governments, secondary schools, individual or groups of institutions of higher education, and private-sector entities.

(c)

Scope of study

In conducting the study under this Act, the Advisory Committee shall, at a minimum, examine—

(1)

whether the current Federal transparency initiatives on postsecondary education—

(A)

are reporting consistent information about individual institutions of higher education across Federal agencies; and

(B)

are similar to transparency initiatives on postsecondary education carried out by States, individual or groups of institutions of higher education, or private-sector entities;

(2)

whether—

(A)

the collection and reporting of postgraduation earnings by the Federal Government is feasible, and if feasible, the options for collecting and reporting such information;

(B)

collecting and reporting such information would improve the use of Federal transparency initiatives and ease decisionmaking for students and their families; and

(C)

collecting and reporting such information would have an impact on student privacy, and if so, how such impact may be minimized;

(3)

whether any other information, including information relating to student outcomes or identified under the review required under subsection (d) , should be collected and reported by the Federal Government to improve the utility of such initiatives for students and their families, and if so, how such information may be collected and reported, including whether the information should be disaggregated by subgroups of students;

(4)

whether any information currently collected and reported by the Federal Government on institutions of higher education is not useful for students and their families and should not be so collected and reported;

(5)

the manner in which the information from Federal transparency initiatives is made available to students and their families, and whether format changes may help the information become more easily understood and widely utilized by students and their families;

(6)

any activities being carried out by the Federal Government, States, individual or groups of institutions of higher education, or private-sector entities to help inform students and their families of the availability of Federal transparency initiatives;

(7)

the cost to institutions of higher education of reporting to the Federal Government the information that is being collected and reported through Federal transparency initiatives, and how such cost may be minimized; and

(8)

the relevant research described in subsection (d) .

(d)

Review of relevant research

In conducting the study under this Act, the Advisory Committee shall review and consider—

(1)

research and studies, if any, that have been conducted to determine questions most frequently asked by students and families to help inform their search for an institution of higher education;

(2)

the types of information students seek before enrolling in an institution of higher education;

(3)

whether the availability to students and their families of additional information on institutions of higher education will be beneficial or confusing;

(4)

results, if any, that are available from consumer testing of Federal, State, institution of higher education, and private-sector transparency initiatives on postsecondary education that have been made publicly available on or after the date that is 10 years before the date of enactment of this Act; and

(5)

any gaps in the research, studies, and results described in paragraphs (1) and (4) relating to the types of information students seek before enrolling in an institution of higher education.

(e)

Consultation

(1)

In general

In conducting the study under this Act, the Advisory Committee shall—

(A)

hold public hearings to consult with parents and students; and

(B)

consult with a broad range of interested parties in higher education, including appropriate researchers, representatives of secondary schools (including college and career counselors) and institutions of higher education from different sectors of such institutions (including undergraduate and graduate education), State administrators, and Federal officials.

(2)

Consultation with the authorizing committees

The Advisory Committee shall consult on a regular basis with the authorizing committees in conducting the study under this Act.

(f)

Reports to authorizing committees

(1)

Interim report

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Advisory Committee shall prepare and submit to the authorizing committees and the Secretary an interim report describing the progress made in conducting the study under this Act and any preliminary findings on the topics identified under subsection (c) .

(2)

Final report

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Advisory Committee shall prepare and submit to the authorizing committees and the Secretary a final report on the study, including—

(i)

recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and administrative actions based on findings related to the topics identified under subsection (c) ; and

(ii)

a summary of the research described in subsection (d) .

(B)

Consultation with 0NCES

The Advisory Committee shall consult with the Commissioner of Education Statistics prior to making recommendations under subparagraph (A)(i) with respect to improving the information being collected and reported by the Federal Government on institutions of higher education.

(g)

Availability of funds

The amount necessary to conduct the study under this Act shall be made available from amounts available to the Secretary for administrative expenses of the Department of Education.

(h)

Definitions

For purposes of this Act:

(1)

Authorizing committees

The term authorizing committees has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003).

(2)

First generation college student

The term first generation college student has the meaning given the term in section 402A(h) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1070a–11(h)).

(3)

Institution of higher education

The term institution of higher education has the meaning given the term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1002 ), except that such term does not include institutions described in subsection (a)(1)(C) of such section 102.

(4)

Secondary school

The term secondary school has the meaning given the term in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801).

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Education.

(6)

State

The term State has the meaning given the term in section 103 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003).

(7)

Student

The term student includes—

(A)

a prospective student;

(B)

a student enrolled in an institution of higher education;

(C)

a nontraditional student (as defined in section 803(j)(2) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1161c(j)(2) )); and

(D)

a veteran (as defined in section 480(c)(1) of such Act ( 20 U.S.C. 1087vv(c)(1) )) who is a student or prospective student.

Passed the House of Representatives May 23, 2013.

Karen L. Haas,

Clerk.

July 18, 2013

Read the second time and placed on the calendar