April 23, 2018

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Reporting of Student Outcomes

Bipartisan Bill Will Help Provide Students & Families More Accessible, Accurate, and Comprehensive Information in Choosing the College that Best Fits Their Needs


WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today announced that she is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to modernize the post-secondary education data reporting system to provide students and their families with greater transparency and accuracy as they consider higher education options.

The bipartisan College Transparency Act establishes a post-secondary student data system under the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) that would accurately report on student outcomes such as enrollment, completion, and post-college success across colleges and majors. The database will help inform students and families about how others with their backgrounds have succeeded at institutions, and help direct them toward schools that best suit their individual needs and desired outcomes. The legislation also includes robust protections for the privacy of individual students.

“Granite State students and their families should have access to accurate, transparent, and comprehensive information about student outcomes at higher education institutions when deciding what college will best suit their needs and desired outcomes,” Senator Hassan said. “By modernizing the way post-secondary education data is reported, the bipartisan College Transparency Act will help ensure that hard-working Granite State students can choose the college that’s right for them.”

“Accurate and representative outcome information of higher education institutions is very important to students and families as they make decisions about their futures,” said Victoria Dutcher, Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of New Hampshire. “The College Transparency Act is a big step forward in helping to provide accurate and comprehensive student outcome information while also protecting the privacy of students, and we thank Senator Hassan for cosponsoring this commonsense legislation.”

“We would welcome a reporting structure that allows for greater clarity on the pathways taken by community college students, while preserving important privacy considerations,” said Ross Gittell, Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire.  “As students increasingly seek affordable ways to pursue postsecondary education, the role of community colleges as on-ramps to opportunity will continue to grow in importance. We thank Sen. Hassan and the bill’s other co-sponsors for considering ways to move forward in this area.”

The current college reporting system is overly burdensome on institutions and provides little practical information for students and families because of significant gaps in college data reporting. Under the updated system established by this bipartisan bill, institutions would securely report privacy-protected, student-level data to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES would be responsible for securely storing student information, working with relevant federal agencies to generate post-college outcomes reports, and presenting the summary information on a user-friendly website for students and families.

More than 130 organizations have expressed support for the College Transparency Act, including the Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the United States Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Veterans Education Success (VES), and the Workforce Data Quality Campaign.