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The legislation introduced by Sen. Lamar Alexander excludes two critical issues needed to ensure higher quality and better outcomes in higher education: transparency and accountability. (Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)

Arnold Ventures today released the following statement responding to Sen. Lamar Alexander’s introduction of the Student Aid Improvement Act:

We have several concerns about the package of higher education bills introduced today by Sen. Lamar Alexander. Congress is already six years behind addressing our nation’s higher education system, and the plan introduced today falls short of achieving real reform.

The bill excludes two critical issues needed to ensure higher quality and better outcomes in higher education: transparency and accountability. The bill, in its current form, also takes the wrong approach with valuable Pell Grant dollars by directing them toward unproven, potentially low-quality, short-term training programs that don’t actually deliver on the career outcomes they promise.

Higher education reform needs a broad, comprehensive approach focused on increasing the return on investment for students and for taxpayers. We need clear transparency on how schools are serving students, meaningful accountability that raises the bar for institutions and focuses on student success, and investments in programs proven to improve student outcomes. Now is not the time for tweaks or experiments using students’ and taxpayers’ resources.

Higher education reform advocates remain committed to working closely with Sen. Alexander and his colleagues in the Senate to achieve a stronger set of reforms that lives up to the expectations of both students and American taxpayers across the country.