DC Shuttle: Hearings on Financial Literacy, College Costs

Financial literacy hearing. On Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s Subcommittee on Children and families held a hearing on financial literacy education for students. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) told the Subcommittee that Americans owe more than they make and must have better financial literacy education. He added that better financial education would benefit the economy. He was joined by Republicans in calling for states to take the lead on financial literacy while the federal government reduces duplication, suggesting that financial literacy education programs will experience opposition at the federal level. To coincide with the hearing Wednesday, the Department of Education released the results of the 2012 National Assessment of Educational Progress exam, which showed that fewer than half of high school seniors are proficient in economics.

College costs hearing. On Wednesday, the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a hearing on the transparency of college costs. Witnesses told the committee that prospective students needed the clear presentation of currently available data more than they needed more information provided by colleges and universities. Students need help navigating information that is accessible and understandable, said witnesses. Following the hearing, Representatives John Kline (R-MN), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), George Miller (D-CA) and Ruben Hinojosa (D- TX) released an open letter requesting suggestions for rewriting the Higher Education Act. The letter says the Committee is interested in empowering “students as consumers,” simplifying student aid and loan programs, increasing affordability, accountability and completion, and reducing costs.

As a member of New England Council, we publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington. This edition is drawn from the Council’s Weekly Washington Report Higher Education Update, of April 29, 2013.

Founded in 1925, the New England Council is a nonpartisan alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the New England region. The Council’s mission is to identify and support federal public policies and articulate the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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