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Guthrie Reintroduces Bill to Improve Transparency on the Cost of College

Washington, February 27, 2023 | S.K. Bowen (202-225-3501)
Tags: Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) reintroduced the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act, a bipartisan bill that would improve transparency for students and their families on the cost of attending college.

“With the cost of attending college rising and being a top concern for most students and their families, it should be easier for prospective students to get a complete picture of the price to attend the colleges they are considering. I am proud to reintroduce the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act with Congresswoman Trahan to require institutions of higher education to be more transparent on the true cost of college to help students more easily compare the costs between institutions. I hope this bill is signed into law this Congress to give students a better understanding of the financial obligation of attending different colleges so that they can make the best decision moving forward with their higher education,” said Congressman Guthrie.

“As a first-generation college student and a mom to two young girls, I know the difficulties that families face in finding information beyond college brochure sticker prices. With the costs of higher education skyrocketing, it more essential than ever that prospective students and their families have a complete understanding of how much they need to earn, save, or borrow to afford a college education,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “I’m proud to work with Congressman Guthrie on this bipartisan legislation that will finally take the burden off students and families and ensure that prospective students have the full picture of what it will cost to attend a higher education institution. For many, a college education is one of the biggest financial investments they will ever make, which is why this transparency and accountability are so important.”


In 2008, Congress through the Higher Education Opportunity Act first required institutions of higher education to provide Net Price Calculator tools on their respective websites. Net price calculators provide students with individualized financial aid information and higher education costs to better understand the net price of attending a specific college. This tool has been implemented inconsistently and can be difficult to find on institutions’ websites. To address this, the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act would:

  • Make Net Price Calculator tools more consistent and easier to find on an institution’s website, such as on webpages with financial aid and tuition information.
  • Require the calculator to provide information on federal student financial aid a student may be eligible for and the total cost of attendance, including total annual cost of attendance, tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other cost information.
  • Improve the accessibility of information on veteran benefits to help veterans better understand eligibility of certain benefits.
  • Authorize the Secretary of Education to develop a “universal net price calculator” on the agency’s website, and this would allow students to answer a standard set of financial and academic questions to get cost estimates from many schools to better compare costs across institutions.
  • Require the Secretary of Education to provide Congress a report on efforts to raise awareness of net price calculators no later than one year after the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act is implemented.

Click HERE for the text of the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act.

U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the companion legislation to the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act in the Senate.