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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 11, 2016.
Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act
(Sec. 2) This bill amends title I (General Provisions) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to modify consumer information disclosure requirements related to college costs and student characteristics.
Specifically, it eliminates the existing restriction that limits calculations of cost of attendance, net price, and tuition and fees to first time students only.
Additionally, it eliminates provisions that require the Department of Education (ED) to make publicly available the following: (1) college affordability and transparency lists, (2) annual summaries of institutional reports, (3) state higher education spending charts; and (4) a multi-year tuition and fees calculator.
(Sec. 3) The bill directs ED to develop, annually update, and make publicly available a College Dashboard website to replace the College Navigator website.
It revises the consumer information ED must make publicly available regarding an institution that participates in federal student aid programs under title IV (Student Assistance). ED must also publish and link to the College Dashboard website additional information regarding student enrollment, completion rates, costs, use of financial aid, and faculty.
The bill establishes certain minimum requirements for an institution's net price calculator, including website location and information provided. Sale or distribution of personally identifiable information collected by a net price calculator is prohibited.
(Sec. 4) No additional funds are authorized to carry out the requirements of this bill.