According to a government report, colleges are hiding from applicants their skyrocketing tuition costs as the Biden administration aims to give out billions in student loan handouts.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was requested by members of the House Education and Labor Committee to review data on the methods used by schools to inform students about the costs of attending college and available financial aid.
As a national representative sample, the GAO compiled financial aid offers from 176 colleges and compared them to best practice guidelines established by the Department of Education and a commission of 22 federal agencies.
In its findings, the GAO noted that 55% of colleges neither provide a total cost of attendance with said key costs nor itemize key direct and indirect costs.
In addition, 91 percent of the sampled colleges do not calculate net price by deducting only gift aid from significant direct and indirect costs.
The report also provided several instances of underestimating costs by schools, such as one that understated costs by over $47,000 and another that understated costs by tens of thousands of dollars.
Rep. Lisa McClain, a Republican from Michigan and member of the House Education and Labor Committee, said in a statement to Fox News Digital that students “deserve transparency when it comes to the financial burdens of higher education, and colleges have no excuse for not providing it.” She is introducing a bill to address the problem.
According to McClain of Fox News Digital, the GAO report “shows shocking proof that colleges underestimate costs by tens of thousands of dollars, leaving students blindsided with the price tag.”
“The conclusions of this report disgust me, and I won’t stand by while they remain unanswered. Never should a student be expected to pay a bill they are unaware of “She went on.
In accordance with McClain’s legislation, colleges and universities must present aid packages to students that include information on the overall cost of attendance, the amount of aid available to cover those costs, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
Institutions would also have to explain to students how they can choose not to pay any direct costs that are not necessary for attendance.
Students would also be told about their legal entitlement to financial aid for indirect costs like food, housing, and other comparable expenses. They would also be given the option to view a second aid offer to see how these expenses might be covered, too.
The McClain bill comes as a multi-billion-dollar plan to forgive student loans from the Biden administration is being challenged in federal court.
Following the government’s request to have the lawsuit dismissed, the coalition of states contesting President Biden’s $400 billion student loan giveaway submitted their written arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court last month.
Nebraska and five other states claim that Biden’s use of a national emergency to forgive a portion of federal student loan debt is an “illegal” abuse of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 in court documents submitted in late November. The reply follows the Biden administration’s emergency application to the Supreme Court last week to overturn an injunction preventing the implementation of the student loan forgiveness program issued by a federal appeals court.
“According to the Act, there must be a genuine national emergency. The President’s true objective, however, is to fulfill his campaign promise to cancel student loan debt, and the Department’s reliance on the COVID-19 pandemic is a ruse to hide that goal “The states responded in writing.
“Hiding the real motive, the agency attempts to connect the Cancellation to the pandemic by citing current economic conditions supposedly caused by COVID-19. But those conditions are not directly attributable to the pandemic, so the Department has failed to adequately link the Cancellation to a national emergency,” they said.