Sen. Barbara Bailey’s continued efforts to increase transparency for college students led to the passage of Senate Bill 5100 by the Senate today. Bailey’s legislation would direct colleges and universities to make financial-literacy seminars available to students, and ensure that each student has an opportunity to participate as early in the academic year as possible.
“Since coming to the Senate I have been very concerned about higher-education financing,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, former chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “I led efforts to tackle the student debt by addressing skyrocketing tuition. This bill is another tool to help students understand their commitments when paying for college.”
The seminars would be required to include:
- an explanation of Student Need Grant program rules;
- information on scholarships and work-study options;
- an overview of student-loan options and consequences;
- an overview of financial literacy;
- average salaries for a range of jobs;
- perspectives from students who are or were recipients of financial aid, including loans; and
- contact information for local financial-aid resources and the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman’s Office.
“The higher education-finance world is like a maze,” added Bailey. “We need to provide clear and concise information to student borrowers before they sign on that dotted line.”
The measure was approved unanimously and goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.