College Transparency Act – what is it?

Melissa Maichle .

The College Transparency Act is in the news again although no congressional action has been taken. The reason is a letter written to education committee leaders in both houses by former Congressman Paul D. Mitchell of Michigan from his hospice bed. (Congressman Mitchell passed away on August 15, a few days after writing the letter.) In his letter, Mitchell, the original author of the bill introduced in May, 2017, implored his former colleagues to make sure it passes this year to provide a resource to college-bound students so they can make an informed decision about where or whether to enroll. To quote Mitchell, “One can find more information these days on the reliability of a washing machine than one can about the likelihood of obtaining a degree resulting in a meaningful career.”

We explain the goals of the CTA

The Act has two main goals: 

  • to provide complete, accurate, actionable information to the public, federal and state agencies and the higher education community via a user-friendly website
  • to streamline the current burdensome federal reporting requirements for postsecondary institutions

Although it has enjoyed bipartisan support in congress and has been endorsed by 150 agencies that rely on this type of data to help students and young alumni, the bill has yet to make it out of committee. It was re-introduced this past March. The opposition continues to site concerns about student privacy since the Act would reverse previous legislation banning student level reporting, which is required to achieve the goals cited above.

Stay tuned to the Higher Education Assistance Group Blog for updates on this topic and more. And, if you have any questions about current institutional reporting requirements, contact us at to speak with an expert.