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Transparency About the Cost of a Degree?

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State legislation to improve transparency about the cost of a degree has earned bipartisan support. Some worry about political motives and unintended consequences.

The Ohio State House of Representatives passed a higher education bill last week to ensure that colleges are transparent in their communications about the cost of their degree programs and the returns their graduates can expect on that investment.

Ohio House Bill 27, which passed by a vote of 88 to 1 Thursday, would require public colleges and universities in the state to send admitted students who qualify for financial aid a one-page “financial cost and aid disclosure form” in their aid packets. The form would offer a full breakdown of the net cost of a degree, including the expected duration of the student’s financial aid package, a clear definition of grants versus loans, and the minimum monthly loan payments required of the student after graduating. It would also mandate that institutions share with admitted students post graduation data on outcomes.

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