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Congressman Scott Tipton

Representing the 3rd District of Colorado

Tipton Works to Enhance Transparency and Empower Students in Higher Education

July 24, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Stressing the need for greater flexibility and transparency in higher education, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) voted to advance three pieces of legislation this week to promote innovative competency-based learning, and provide students and parents with information needed to make sound decisions on academic programs and tuition financing options.

The Strengthening Transparency in Higher Education Act (H.R. 4983) seeks to streamline and improve existing federal transparency efforts to reduce duplication and confusion, and provide more accurate information to students on higher education consumer information including student success rates and total cost of programs. The Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (H.R. 4984) will promote financial literacy and ensure that students have a complete picture of the loan, aid and grant programs available to them to finance their tuition and make sound financial decisions.

“Deciding to go to college, choosing a program, and figuring out how to pay for it are among the most important decisions a young person can make, and for most, the decisions will have a lasting impact on their lives for many years,” said Tipton. “This legislation will empower students and their parents to make the best possible decision by ensuring that they have access to clear and accurate information on total costs of the program from start to finish and the best financing options available to meet the needs of their unique situation. With this information in hand, students will be in a much better position to choose the program that works best for them, and repay their student loans. Given the tough economy and competitive jobs market, every advantage that a student has available to them, from when they first enter college to when they graduate, is important to their overall success. ”

Tipton also voted to pass legislation that seeks to provide higher education institutions with greater flexibility to better meet the educational needs of individual students. The Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Project Act (H.R. 3136) would allow higher learning institutions to measure students’ learning based on their competency with the subject matter, rather than solely on the amount of time they spend in the classroom (credit hours).

“By allowing colleges and universities to develop innovative programs that measure student success based on what they learn and what they know, rather than on how long they are seated in a classroom, students would be able to receive a higher quality, more personalized and cost-effective education that truly meets their needs,” said Tipton.

In January, 2014, Tipton joined his Colorado colleagues in a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education asking that he join them in support of this concept at the Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global).

The members wrote:

“CSU-Global’s proposal will utilize Credit by Exam (CBE) and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) programs to decrease students’ time to completion and the cost of a degree, while also allowing students who demonstrate competencies based on their professional experience and non-collegiate learning to obtain credit for their learning…We urge you to support CSU-Global’s application to be an experimental site and would welcome an opportunity to work with you on this endeavor.”

See the full letter HERE.

Learn more about H.R. 3136, H.R. 4984 and H.R. 4983.