PostsecData leads coalition of 17 partners applauding ED’s Financial Value Transparency frameworkPublished Oct 17, 2023
Washington, DC (October 17, 2023) – The Institute for Higher Education Policy and 16 other members and partners of the Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData) recently sent a letter U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona expressing enthusiastic support for Department of Education’s recently finalized Financial Value Transparency framework.
The final Financial Value Transparency framework and the Department’s forthcoming program information website will offer students, institutions and policymakers more information than ever before about program costs and outcomes at all institutions. This strong framework will:
- Empower students and families to make more informed educational decisions
- Enhance data quality and accessibility, paving the way for evidence-based policy decisions
- Drive institutional improvement by offering colleges valuable insights into the economic outcomes of their programs.
Read the full letter below.
October 17, 2023
The Honorable Miguel Cardona
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
RE: Financial Value Transparency (Docket ID ED-2023-OPE-0089)
Dear Secretary Cardona,
Together, the 17 undersigned members and partners of the Postsecondary Data Collaborative
(PostsecData) write to express our enthusiastic support for the Financial Value Transparency framework
included in recently finalized regulations. PostsecData, led by the Institute for Higher Education Policy
(IHEP), is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations committed to using high-quality postsecondary data to improve student success and advance educational equity.
The U.S. Department of Education’s new Financial Value Transparency framework will empower
students and families to make more informed educational decisions, improve available data, and
support institutional improvement efforts. The Department’s forthcoming program information website
will provide prospective and current students with more information than ever before about program
costs and outcomes at all institutions. Moreover, the new information will help inform data-driven
decision-making among educational institutions and policymakers at all levels—ultimately enabling
students to reap greater benefits from their postsecondary investment.
We are pleased that the final framework includes a required list of elements to be displayed on the
Department’s program information website, especially debt-to-earnings measures that reflect the
affordability of loan payments for graduates and an earnings premium measure that evaluates whether
program graduates are likely to earn more than a typical high school graduate. Prospective and current
students will also benefit from other key metrics required on that website, such as the published length
of each program, the total cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment that students are likely
to incur over the length of the program, students’ likely earnings after graduation, and their median
student loan debt. The Financial Value Transparency framework will make many of these program-level
data elements available for the first time across all sectors and levels of higher education, and present
each in a clear, consistent, and comparable way.
These valuable Financial Value Transparency measures will be made possible by new data reporting
requirements for institutions. We thank the Department for committing to provide training and
technical resources for institutions, further clarification in sub-regulatory guidance, a format for
reporting, as well as accepting early reporting prior to the deadline.
We urge the Department to prioritize the timely implementation of the Financial Value Transparency
framework by establishing a clear timeline and measurable benchmarks. With the initial reporting
deadline for institutions set for July 31, 2024, we encourage the Department to provide clear, timely
guidance, engage in robust institutional outreach, and staff a dedicated help desk to promptly respond
to institutional inquiries and provide ongoing assistance throughout the reporting process. These actions
and guidance will facilitate streamlined reporting, enhance institutions’ ability to meet the initial
reporting deadline, and contribute to the overall success of the framework.
The Department should also develop a timeline for building and launching its program information
website. We look forward to providing input during the Department’s development of the website to
ensure that it communicates information as clearly as possible to prospective and current students.
We commend the Department for its commitment to transparency and look forward to continued
collaboration to improve postsecondary data quality. For questions about this letter, please contact
Diane Cheng, Vice President of Research and Policy ([email protected]), or Kelly Leon, Vice President of
Communications and Government Affairs ([email protected]) at the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
American Association of University Women
Center for American Progress
Complete College America
Data Quality Campaign
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce
Higher Education Advisory Group (HEA Group)
Higher Learning Advocates
Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)
Jobs for the Future (JFF)
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
New America Higher Education Program
The Education Trust
The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS)
A formal copy of the letter and list of signatories is available here.