Local students welcome proposed bill to require more transparency from universities

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FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — A bill cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott would require colleges to be more forthcoming with graduation and job placement rates.

If passed, the College Transparency Act would require the National Center for Education Statistics to create a database of information on all colleges.

“It’s important that we empower students and families to make informed decisions about their educational futures, based on concrete data,” Scott said in a news release. The bipartisan bill is also cosponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy, Elizabeth Warren and Sheldon Whitehouse.

Students at Francis Marion University in Florence said they could benefit from easier access to information. Nursing major Makayla Willets transferred to FMU and said graduation rates and job placement rates were a big part of her decision.

“I would like to see admissions be more upfront and open about their graduation rate because honestly, I don’t necessarily hear that from admissions a lot,” Willets said. She said that some colleges make this information easily accessible – but not all of them. She thinks a bill like this would make it easier to make an informed decision.

“I feel like I’ve seen way too many college students come in expecting one thing and realizing it’s another,” psychology major Savannah Kelly said, “A lot of people don’t realize it until you’re in the program that you may have the degree, but you also need a license.” She plans to pursue an additional certification after she graduates. Another student said that even if the bill doesn’t pass, prospective students should take it upon themselves to find out the information they need.

“If you’re going to invest money and time into a college degree, that should be something of great significance that you’d want to look into yourself,” psychology major James Kennedy said of graduation and job placement rates. If passed, the National Center for Education Statistics would have four years to make the database available.

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