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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

Contact: Press Office (202) 226-9440
Messer Statement: Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute for H.R. 1949
As prepared for delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I am pleased to offer this Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 1949, the Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act.

Few decisions in life are bigger than whether to attend college and which college to attend. Yet many families struggle to wade through the complicated maze of statistics to find the information they need to make fully informed, cost-conscious decisions. Consequently, they may choose schools or programs that don’t meet their needs and leave them with high debt and limited career potential.

Through the Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act, we hope to simplify the process and help ensure students can access the information they need to make good decisions while lessening the burden on colleges and universities that have far too many reporting requirements today.

As Chairman Kline detailed, the bill would require the Department of Education to evaluate the information colleges and universities are required to provide to determine what helps make students better consumers, and what simply buries them and the schools they attend under piles of paper. 

In addition to technical changes, the substitute amendment makes a few key modifications to the underlying legislation.

The substitute:

  • Ensures the advisory committee represents diverse economic, racial, and geographically diverse populations;
  • Requires the advisory committee to examine information related to the sources of financial assistance including federal student loans to the required aspects of the study;
  • Directs the advisory committee to examine how information regarding student outcomes should be disaggregated for first-generation students, and requires college and career counselors be consulted as the committee conducts its study.

Choosing the right college is an important step on the path to educational and professional success. The Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act will help ensure students have access to the information they really need to make the best possible decision, while also reducing the burden of unnecessary reporting requirements for colleges and universities.

I want to thank Chairman Kline and Higher Education Subcommittee Chairwoman Foxx for their work on and support of this legislation.  I also want to commend our Democratic colleagues for their contributions to this bill. I urge all of our colleagues to support the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute and the underlying legislation, and yield back the balance of my time.

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