Congressman Tim Ryan Votes to Improve Education in the United States

Jul 28, 2014 Issues: Education

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan voted this week on two bipartisan bills that would provide students more information about financing their education and a third bill that would give students access to higher-quality, and more flexible education opportunities that could better meet their needs.

“All too often I hear from college graduates and their families about the crippling debt they have incurred while pursuing the American dream through higher education,” said Congressman Ryan.  “While these are modest steps, I support every effort to make education and the promise of prosperity available to every citizen within my district and across the nation.”

Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (HR 4984) provides improved information and counseling on financial aid and student debt so that students can make informed decisions on how to finance their education. Because of this legislation entrance counseling for student loan borrowers will now take place before a borrower is asked to accept the loan.

The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (HR 4983) requires schools to annually update and project how much a student will be expected to borrow throughout their educational career, and what their monthly payment would look like under various repayment plans. Parents borrowing loans for their children will also have access to the same information.  In addition, institutions of higher education will be required to provide enrollment numbers, graduation rates, employment statistics, projected salary statistics, and average student loan statistics.

Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) provides funding to the Secretary of Education to select institutions of higher education to participate in a pilot program that would enable schools to voluntarily participate in in Competency-Based Education Demonstration Program that would provide participating schools with the ability to offer competency-based education and allow them to use Federal student aid to pay for the education.  Previously these sorts of programs did not meet certain statutory and regulatory requirements that prevented them from participating in federal student aid programs.  This will enable schools to focus on measuring student achievement through assessment of a student’s knowledge and skills rather than by the completion of clock or credit hours, thus allowing for a strengths based perspective that will enable schools to cater to a student’s individual learning style.