The Secretary shall direct the Commissioner of Education Statistics to convene a series of forums to develop nationally consistent methodologies for reporting costs incurred by postsecondary institutions in providing postsecondary education.
On the basis of the methodologies developed pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall redesign relevant parts of the postsecondary education data systems to improve the usefulness and timeliness of the data collected by such systems.
The Secretary shall make available the data collected pursuant to subsection (a). Such data shall be available in a form that permits the review and comparison of the data submissions of individual institutions of higher education. Such data shall be presented in a form that is easily understandable and allows parents and students to make informed decisions based on the costs for typical full-time undergraduate students.
The Commissioner of Education Statistics shall submit a report regarding the findings of the study required by paragraph (1) to the appropriate committees of Congress not later than September 30, 2002.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education Statistics, shall develop a higher education market basket that identifies the items that comprise the costs of higher education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall provide a report on the market basket to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives not later than September 30, 2002.
In addition to actions authorized in section 1094(c) of this title, the Secretary may impose a fine in an amount not to exceed $25,000 on an institution of higher education for failing to provide the information described in paragraph (1) in a timely and accurate manner, or for failing to otherwise cooperate with the National Center for Education Statistics regarding efforts to obtain data on the cost of higher education under this section and pursuant to the program participation agreement entered into under section 1094 of this title.
The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, shall make the availability of the Armed Forces information website described in paragraph (1) widely known to members of the Armed Forces (including members of the National Guard and Reserves), veterans, the dependents of such members or veterans, States, institutions of higher education, and the general public.
The Secretary shall establish and maintain, on the website described in subsection (e)(3), a National Database on Financial Assistance for the Study of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (in this paragraph referred to as the “STEM Database”). The STEM Database shall consist of information on scholarships, fellowships, and other programs of Federal, State, local, and, to the maximum extent practicable, private financial assistance available for the study of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at the postsecondary and postbaccalaureate levels.
The STEM Database shall provide separate information for each of the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and for postsecondary and postbaccalaureate programs of financial assistance.
The STEM Database shall provide specific information on any program of financial assistance that is targeted to individuals based on financial need, merit, or student characteristics.
In carrying out the requirements of this paragraph, the Secretary is authorized to enter into a contract with a private entity with demonstrated expertise in creating and maintaining databases such as the one required under this paragraph, under which contract the entity shall furnish, and regularly update, all of the information required to be maintained on the STEM Database.