Press Releases

Representatives Trahan and Guthrie Secure Inclusion of Bipartisan College Data Access Amendment in Higher Education Act Authorization

Washington, October 29, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Brett Guthrie (R-KY) secured passage of an amendment to the Collage Affordability Act (CAA) during committee markup that would require institutions to prominently display the costs of tuition, room and board, and other expenses on their website in the form of a tool called the Net Price Calculator. By doing so, students would be empowered to make decisions that are right for them while making smart financial choices. The amendment passed unanimously on a 45-0 vote.

In addition, the Trahan-Guthrie amendment also requires the Secretary of Education to develop a Universal Net Price Calculator based off consumer testing among representatives of students, their families, institutions, secondary schools, and nonprofit consumer groups. This universal calculator would be housed on the agency’s website and allow students to obtain clear, comparable net price estimates for multiple colleges in one place.

“For many individuals and families, a college education will be one of the biggest financial investments they will ever make. As the costs of higher education continues to skyrocket, prospective students and their families are often choosing schools without any sense of their return on investment. I can speak from personal experience, as a former first-generation student and now a mother of two young girls. It is a struggle to look past sticker prices to understand how much your family actually needs to earn, save, or borrow in order to afford a college education,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “That is why I was proud to work with Congressman Guthrie on this amendment that will reinforce transparency and accountability in our higher education system.”

“My amendment with Congresswoman Trahan would improve the existing Net Price Calculator to make it easier for students and parents to assess the true cost of each school and compare them to one another. As college costs have continued to rise, we must ensure that these costs are transparent. I look forward to continuing to work across the aisle on behalf of students and their families,” said Congressman Guthrie.

You can watch a video of Congresswoman Trahan speaking in support of her amendment during the markup HERE:

This amendment is also noteworthy for its historical context. Congressman Elijah Cummings – a champion for fairness and quality – was the original champion of the Net Price Calculator, a central component of the amendment. For years, Congressman Cummings reached across the aisle to partner with his Republican colleagues in a bipartisan effort to improve this tool and put students first. The Trahan-Guthrie amendment carries on in the spirit of its principal author.

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