May 7, 2019
Partners on the Net Price Calculator Improvement Act

As federal lawmakers consider the newly proposed New Price Calculator Improvement Act, Partners' Vice President for Policy and Advocacy Archie Cubarrubia discuses the gap between policy and practice in net price calculators, calling for the simplification of federal data requirements, in a recent article by Voice of America’s multiple media news source Learning English.

In 2008, Cubarrubia was working at the U.S. Department of Education and helped write the current guidelines for net price calculators as outlined in the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Noting the significant amount of data that the 2008 law requires colleges and universities to report and disclose, Cubarrubia suggests that more well-resourced institutions are better equipped to meet these requirements than less well-resourced ones.

But Cubarrubia adds that the 2008 law require colleges and universities to report huge amounts of all kinds of data. Not all of it is related to cost, and most of it comes from several different departments within the schools.
Institutions with larger budgets are able to make sure that the necessary data is communicated effectively between departments and with the government, he says. Those schools are better able to make sure the calculators on their websites are providing up-to-date information. But, that is not always the case at schools with competing budgetary concerns.
“What ends up happening is because the federal requirements are so piecemeal and different offices … are responsible for different pieces, … one piece falls through the cracks and nobody’s … looking at it,” said Cubarrubia. He adds that the government should consider simplifying its data requirements.

Read the full article HERE.