S.3244 - Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2012112th Congress (2011-2012)
Summary: S.3244 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)
Introduced in Senate (05/24/2012)
Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2012 - Amends the Higher Education Opportunity Act to refer to the Secretary of Education's model institution of higher eduction (IHE) financial aid offer form as the standard form.
Requires the standard form to include certain additional items, such as: (1) information concerning work study assistance, including its dependence on the availability of employment opportunities; (2) the disclosure that federal student loans offer generally more favorable terms and repayment options than private education loans; (3) the deadline for and a summary of the financial aid acceptance process; (4) the academic period covered by the offer and whether the aid is based on full-time or part-time enrollment; and (5) the IHE's most recent cohort default rate compared to the national average cohort default rate, if more than 30% of the school's students take out student loans.
Requires more detailed information to be included on the form.
Includes among those details, with respect to federal education loans, information: (1) identifying the type and amount of loan recommended for the applicable student; (2) clearly indicating that such loans need to be repaid; (3) disclosing the student's right to borrow less than the recommended amount; and (4) detailing the interest rates, fees, expected monthly repayment amounts, and sums to be paid over the life of such loans.
Requires that certain steps be taken to improve the clarity of the form and provide recipients with access to additional information.
Directs the Secretary, before finalizing the standard form, to submit it to consumer testing among students, their families, IHEs, secondary school and postsecondary counselors, and nonprofit consumer groups.
Amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require each IHE receiving federal financial assistance under the Act to use the standard form in providing written or electronic financial aid offers to students enrolled in, or accepted for enrollment in, the IHE.