The White House is partnering with dozens of colleges, including the University of Texas, to provide new students with easier-to-understand information on costs and financial aid.
Although the Education Department and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed such a form in January, only Congress can make it mandatory. But at a White House round table Tuesday led by Vice President Joe Biden, the leaders of some of the nation's largest universities, representing 1.4 million students, volunteered to provide the data beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa, who participated in the round-table discussion, applauded efforts to increase transparency of higher education costs. "Providing students and their families with clear and concise information regarding the cost to earn a college degree is a top priority for all our universities," Cigarroa said in a statement. "The UT System already provides students with access to information regarding cost of attendance, financial aid options and net costs after grants and scholarships through a variety of communication mediums."
The UT System, with nine academic and six health campuses, for several years has put such data in its annual Accountability and Performance report, posted online, and earlier this year launched a public "dashboard," a suite of Web-based applications letting students, families and the public explore a variety of data.
About two-thirds of bachelor's degree recipients borrow to attend college, but many colleges send out confusing financial aid offers, sometimes blurring the lines between grants and scholarships, which don't have to be repaid, and loans, which do. Without uniform information, students and their parents often find it difficult to compare offers.
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Coalition Responds to Governor Perry's Veto of Senate Bill 15Governor Rick Perry today vetoed Senate Bill No. 15, a bill passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature and intended to strengthen the governing boards of Texas institutions of public higher education. In response to the veto, the Coalition issued the following statement:“The Governor’s veto is yet another blow for transparency and good governance that will undermine, not improve, Texas public universities. This legislation was strongly supported by Republicans and Democrats in both the Texas House and Senate and was intended to stop an unfortunate legacy of micromanagement and cronyism that has characterized too many of Governor Perry’s appointments. This veto will enable the continued destruction of some of our leading institutions by the very people who are charged with strengthening and improving them. Without proper oversight these premiere research and teaching universities run the risk of becoming talentless degree mills that will drive jobs and economic opportunity away from Texas, instead of attracting them. The people of Texas deserve better, our students deserve better, our universities deserve better and all citizens should be disappointed that the Governor defied the will of the people as expressed by their elected representatives.”
Coalition applauds Senate Nominations Committee; congratulates new RegentsToday the Texas Senate confirmed three regents to The University of Texas System Board of Regents. These three join regents from across the state at university systems ranging from Texas A&M, to The University of Houston, among others, who were confirmed in the 83rd Legislative Session. The Texas Coalition for Excellence in Higher Education issued the following statement in response:"We applaud Chairman Hegar and the Members of the Senate Committee on Nominations for a thoughtful and productive process of vetting candidates for the governing boards of our state's public institutions this Legislative Session. The unusually high interest and involvement in this week's nomination hearing from Senators across the state demonstrated the tremendous responsibility that the role of university regent carries, and we commend the Senate for its active engagement in this important process."We congratulate the new regents who went through the process this Session and commend them for their commitment to public service, and promoting and preserving quality and excellence at our state's institutions. Their role in shaping and supporting a higher education system that values research, helps cultivate critical thinking skills and promotes broad-based, diverse learning is essential to developing citizens who will contribute to our state's economy, and our future."Our Coalition was formed to promote excellence in higher education and push back against misguided reforms that could damage the quality of our institutions. We trust the new regents who have responsibility for governing these vital state institutions will be dedicated to strengthening and advancing the quality of higher education for all Texans. It is our hope that the path forward will be marked by good governance at all of our state's institutions and the excellence that it will foster throughout higher education."