Congress Discusses the Bipartisan and Bicameral College Transparency Act of 2017

May 2017

This month, bipartisan authors in both chambers introduced the
College Transparency Act of 2017 to create a secure, privacy-protected postsecondary data system at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  This new system would make important improvements to the current Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is limited to data on first-time and full-time college students. The legislation is also expected to reduce reporting burdens on institutions of higher education.

“This Act is a tremendous opportunity to further advance evidence-based research to turn information into more useful data that could inform costly federal policy decisions and advise individuals and families in making higher education choices,” said Felice J. Levine, AERA Executive Director.

The House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing on May 24: “Empowering Students and Families to Make Informed Decisions on Higher Education.” One of the witnesses was Mark Schneider, who served as the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics from 2005 to 2008 and is currently the vice president and an Institute Fellow at the American Institutes for Research.

AERA, along with nearly 80 other groups, signed a statement of support for the legislation.