RED & BLACK: US Senator supports legislation to relieve college students of financial burden

Career College Central Summary:

  • The rising cost of secondary education is on the forefront of debate in U.S. Congress this year, and Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia (R) is supporting an act that could help relieve students of some of their financial burden.
  • The act, according to a press release, would repeal several federal higher education regulations relating to state authorization, the definition of “credit hour,” gainful employment, teacher preparation, third party providers and the proposed college ratings system.
  • Isakson said that these regulations are burdensome and unnecessary and that they “restrict choice and increase costs” for colleges and students.
  • “Nearly every one of the 6,000 colleges and universities across the country and all sectors of higher education — including those in Georgia — are impacted by one or all of these regulations,” said Marie Gordon, deputy press secretary for Isakson.
  • Karen Webber, an associate professor in the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education, explained possible reasons Isakson could have for repealing some of these regulations.
  • Webber said that the definition of a credit hour is regulated at the federal level to allow for easier transfer of credit across institutions and across states, but that Isakson wants states to have more control over them.
  • Webber also said that legislators like Isakson want colleges and universities to provide more detail on how many graduates are getting jobs and how much they earn.
  • “Currently, proprietary institutions must report to the federal government on how many students find employment after graduation, and I believe some legislators want to see other colleges and universities report on this as well,” Webber said. “Some students who are enrolled in for-profit colleges receive a lot of federal financial aid, but never progress well toward graduation nor earning a degree, and I believe some of the legislation on gainful employment is partially related to this.”
  • Webber said that legislators also want to make sure that for-profit companies (third parties) that offer student financial aid are being ethical in their business practices.

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