Laws & Guidance HIGHER EDUCATION
1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965
P.L. 105-244

Sec 101--Revision of Title I (cont'd)
PART C--COST OF HIGHER EDUCATION

`SEC. 131. IMPROVEMENTS IN MARKET INFORMATION AND PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION.

`(a) IMPROVED DATA COLLECTION-

`(1) DEVELOPMENT OF UNIFORM METHODOLOGY- The Secretary shall direct the Commissioner of Education Statistics to convene a series of forums to develop nationally consistent methodologies for reporting costs incurred by postsecondary institutions in providing postsecondary education.

`(2) REDESIGN OF DATA SYSTEMS- On the basis of the methodologies developed pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall redesign relevant parts of the postsecondary education data systems to improve the usefulness and timeliness of the data collected by such systems.

`(3) INFORMATION TO INSTITUTIONS- The Commissioner of Education Statistics shall--

`(A) develop a standard definition for the following data elements:

`(i) tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate student;

`(ii) cost of attendance for a full-time undergraduate student, consistent with the provisions of section 472;

`(iii) average amount of financial assistance received by an undergraduate student who attends an institution of higher education, including--

`(I) each type of assistance or benefit described in section 428(a)(2)(C)(i);

`(II) fellowships; and

`(III) institutional and other assistance; and

`(iv) number of students receiving financial assistance described in each of subclauses (I), (II), and (III) of clause (iii);

`(B) not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, report the definitions to each institution of higher education and within a reasonable period of time thereafter inform the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives of those definitions; and

`(C) collect information regarding the data elements described in subparagraph (A) with respect to at least all institutions of higher education participating in programs under title IV, beginning with the information from academic year 2000-2001 and annually thereafter.

`(b) DATA DISSEMINATION- The Secretary shall make available the data collected pursuant to subsection (a). Such data shall be available in a form that permits the review and comparison of the data submissions of individual institutions of higher education. Such data shall be presented in a form that is easily understandable and allows parents and students to make informed decisions based on the costs for typical full-time undergraduate students.

`(c) STUDY-

`(1) IN GENERAL- The Commissioner of Education Statistics shall conduct a national study of expenditures at institutions of higher education. Such study shall include information with respect to--

`(A) the change in tuition and fees compared with the consumer price index and other appropriate measures of inflation;

`(B) faculty salaries and benefits;

`(C) administrative salaries, benefits and expenses;

`(D) academic support services;

`(E) research;

`(F) operations and maintenance; and

`(G) institutional expenditures for construction and technology and the potential cost of replacing instructional buildings and equipment.

`(2) EVALUATION- The study shall include an evaluation of--

`(A) changes over time in the expenditures identified in paragraph (1);

`(B) the relationship of the expenditures identified in paragraph (1) to college costs; and

`(C) the extent to which increases in institutional financial aid and tuition discounting practices affect tuition increases, including the demographics of students receiving such discounts, the extent to which financial aid is provided to students with limited need in order to attract a student to a particular institution, and the extent to which Federal financial aid, including loan aid, has been used to offset the costs of such practices.

`(3) FINAL REPORT- The Commissioner of Education Statistics shall submit a report regarding the findings of the study required by paragraph (1) to the appropriate committees of Congress not later than September 30, 2002.

`(4) HIGHER EDUCATION MARKET BASKET- The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education Statistics, shall develop a higher education market basket that identifies the items that comprise the costs of higher education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall provide a report on the market basket to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives not later than September 30, 2002.

`(5) FINES- In addition to actions authorized in section 487(c), the Secretary may impose a fine in an amount not to exceed $25,000 on an institution of higher education for failing to provide the information described in paragraph (1) in a timely and accurate manner, or for failing to otherwise cooperate with the National Center for Education Statistics regarding efforts to obtain data on the cost of higher education under this section and pursuant to the program participation agreement entered into under section 487.

`(d) STUDENT AID RECIPIENT SURVEY-

Secretary shall survey student aid recipients on a regular cycle, but not less than once every 3 years--

`(A) to identify the population of students receiving Federal student aid;

`(B) to determine the income distribution and other socioeconomic characteristics of federally aided students;

`(C) to describe the combinations of aid from State, Federal, and private sources received by students from all income groups;

`(D) to describe the debt burden of loan recipients and their capacity to repay their education debts; and

`(E) to disseminate such information in both published and machine readable form.

`(2) The survey shall be representative of full-time and part-time, undergraduate, graduate, and professional and current and former students in all types of institutions, and should be designed and administered in consultation with the Congress and the postsecondary education community.

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Last Modified: 09/23/2003