20 U.S. Code § 1015a - Transparency in college tuition for consumers
The term “cost of attendance” means the average annual cost of tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation for an institution of higher education for a first-time, full-time undergraduate student enrolled in the institution.
An institution shall not be placed on a list described in subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (c)(1), and shall not be subject to the reporting required under subsection (e), if the dollar amount of the institution’s increase in tuition and fees, or net price, as applicable, is less than $600 for the three-year period described in such subparagraph.
Not later than one year after August 14, 2008, the Secretary shall, in consultation with institutions of higher education and other appropriate experts, develop a net price calculator to help current and prospective students, families, and other consumers estimate the individual net price of an institution of higher education for a student. The calculator shall be developed in a manner that enables current and prospective students, families, and consumers to determine an estimate of a current or prospective student’s individual net price at a particular institution.
For purposes of this subsection, an individual net price of an institution of higher education shall be calculated in the same manner as the net price of such institution is calculated under subsection (a)(3), except that the cost of attendance and the amount of need-based and merit-based aid available shall be calculated for the individual student as much as practicable.
The Secretary shall regularly consult with current and prospective college students, family members of such students, institutions of higher education, and other experts to improve the usefulness and relevance of the College Navigator website, with respect to the presentation of the consumer information collected in paragraph (1).
The Commissioner for Education Statistics shall continue to update and improve the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (referred to in this section as “IPEDS”), including the reporting of information by institutions and the timeliness of the data collected.
Not later than one year after August 14, 2008, the Secretary shall, in consultation with institutions of higher education, financial planners, and other appropriate experts, develop a multi-year tuition calculator to help current and prospective students, families of such students, and other consumers estimate the amount of tuition an individual may pay to attend an institution of higher education in future years.
The multi-year tuition calculator described in paragraph (1) shall be available on the College Navigator website and shall allow current and prospective students, families of such students, and consumers to compare information and estimates under this subsection for multiple institutions of higher education.
The survey shall be conducted on a regular cycle and not less often than once every four years.
The Commissioner for Education Statistics shall disseminate to the public, in printed and electronic form, the information resulting from the survey.
The Secretary is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.
A prior section 1015a, Pub. L. 89–329, title I, § 132, as added Pub. L. 102–325, title I, § 101, July 23, 1992, 106 Stat. 465, related to grant applications, prior to the general amendment of this subchapter by Pub. L. 105–244.
Another prior section 1015a, Pub. L. 89–329, title I, § 132, as added Pub. L. 94–482, title I, § 101(g)(3), Oct. 12, 1976, 90 Stat. 2087, set out scope of lifelong learning program, prior to the general amendment of this subchapter by Pub. L. 96–374.
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