Castro, Marchant Introduce Bipartisan Transparency for Transfer Students Act
WASHINGTON--Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Vice Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a member of the House Intelligence and Education and Labor Committees, and Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee, and member of the Ways and Means Committee, today introduced The Transparency for Transfer Students Act, legislation that ensures transfer students have better information on agreements from their schools, by clarifying what information colleges and universities need to publish on their websites and relevant publications regarding transfer agreements. It also guarantees that transfer students do not lose any credits when transferring to a new institution:
“In a changing world, transparency in our education system has never been more vital. It is essential for students and their families to be given clear, easy-to-find information about the schools they are considering so that they can leverage that knowledge into success,” said Congressman Castro. “So much of the transfer process as it stands is convoluted and difficult to navigate. Investing in our kids and their futures means giving them the tools, ability, and clarity to make better, more informed decisions that will impact not only the rest of their lives, but the entire country.”
“The transfer process can be a stressful one for college students, especially without certainty that they will retain the credits they have already earned and paid for,” said Congressman Marchant. “Their time is better spent studying than sifting through confusing bureaucracy for the information they need, which is why our bill to increase transparency on which credits will transfer is so important. Having this crucial information available will allow transfer students to make a smart educational choice, saving them time and reducing their costs.”
The bill helps transfer students receive better information on articulation agreements from their schools. This way, students don’t start attending a new school only to realize months later that none of their classes transferred over. The Transparency for Transfer Students Act ensures that schools disclose their articulation agreements in an easy-to-find manner on their websites and in their relevant publications. Additionally, institutions must provide a link to the website of all the institutions that they have articulation agreements with, and they must provide a list of transfer-related resources such as transfer student deadlines, financial aid information, and relevant staff contact information.
The idea originated from a GAO report, which recommend that the Department of Education requires schools to disclose the schools with which they have articulation agreements, as well as requiring schools to provide additional transfer information. GAO estimated that only about 68% of schools listed the names of other schools with which they have articulation agreements. The percentage of schools that list this information goes down when you only look at private nonprofit or private for-profit institutions, at around 54% and 47%, respectively.
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