U.S. Representatives Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to help students and families plan for the increasing costs of higher education. The bipartisan Truth-In-Tuition Act (H.R. 4715) would require universities and colleges to provide a four-year price model for students and parents.
Tuition and fees at four-year universities has increased over two and a half times the inflation rate, making a college degree less affordable than ever. After adjusting for inflation, prices for tuition, fees and room and board rose 33 percent and 26 percent respectively at public and private nonprofit universities from 2005 to 2015.
The Truth-In-Tuition Act would require schools to present each incoming class with a multi-year tuition and fee schedule or give each student a non-binding estimate of what their education will cost them individually. There are no price caps or tuition freezes, and schools are still free to determine tuition rates.
"A college education is a key factor in an individual's future success and unpredictable costs should not make this an unattainable goal. Colleges and universities that rely on federal dollars owe it to students and families to provide truth in tuition," said Rep. Roskam. "Making this process more transparent gives families the peace-of-mind to better plan for college and relieves some of the anxiety that comes along with it."
"Skyrocketing college tuition costs limit opportunity and place many students and their families in serious debt," said Rep. Cartwright. "Without having the full picture of college costs, students and their families are forced to take on more student loan debt than they originally anticipated. This bipartisan bill will help create a clear path forward so that unforeseen costs don't inhibit students' ability to achieve their education goals."
In Illinois, public universities and colleges are already required to provide a financial roadmap. Baylor University, George Washington University, the University of Minnesota, Central Michigan University, the University of Texas-Dallas, and many more colleges have implemented this policy. Representative Roskam supported the Illinois legislation as a State Senator in 2003.