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Brittany Francis

National higher education reform network calls CTA a critical first step toward improving equity, value and completion in higher education

February 8, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – Complete College America issued the following statement applauding the inclusion of the bipartisan, bicameral College Transparency Act (CTA) as an amendment to the America COMPETES Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on February 4, 2022. The proposal—which would make data on student outcomes accessible to students and taxpayers in a consumer-friendly format—now goes to the U.S. Senate, where the proposal already enjoys bipartisan support among 34 co-sponsors.

“Students from under-resourced families and communities deserve a more transparent system that will help them make better-informed decisions when selecting a college or university to meet their educational and career goals,” said Dr. Yolanda Watson Spiva, president of Complete College America. “This shift to transparency and accountability will allow institutions, researchers and policymakers to understand the intersection of student success and important demographic information—such as race, age, gender, first-generation status, income and veteran status—and help more students complete degrees and credentials of value.”

The College Transparency Act would create a secure, privacy-protected system that will provide greater transparency into higher education outcomes for current and prospective students and taxpayers. The proposal will give the U.S. Department of Education authority to collect student-level data on program of study, college completion, veteran status, online vs. in-person attendance, status at entry (first-time vs. transfer-in), and enrollment status (full-time vs. part-time).

In March 2021, a bipartisan group of four U.S. Senators—including U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a strong champion for the College Transparency Act—reintroduced the legislation. Legislative staff from the office of Sen. Cassidy met with members of the Complete College America Alliance to share how the legislation is aligned with CCA’s efforts to advance national data transparency, which included policymakers and institutional researchers from across the country.

“For too long, our nation has relied on incomplete data collection and reporting at the federal level to compare best practices across institutions-especially across state lines,” said Charles Ansell, vice president of research, policy, and advocacy at Complete College America. “This is foundational for states, institutions, and any organization that seriously wants to address structural and systemic inequities built into higher education. Strengthening our national evidence base will help colleges and universities advance changes in policy and practice that can help meet the needs of all students, particularly students from under-resourced families and communities.”

For more information on the College Transparency Act and transparent data systems at the federal level, state, system and institutional leaders may email their name, title, and organization to


About Complete College America: Complete College America (CCA) builds movements for scaled change and transforms institutions through data-driven policies, student-centered perspectives, and equity-driven practices. Since its founding in 2009, CCA connects a national network of forward-thinking state and higher education leaders and introduces bold initiatives to help states and institutions confront inequities, close institutional performance gaps, and increase college completion rates, especially for marginalized and historically excluded students.