Mamie Voight, Director of Policy Research at IHEP, testified at a hearing for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance on consumer information and data transparency.
Chair Dr. Harper-Marinick, Vice Chair Ms. Johnson, committee members, and staff – thank you for the opportunity to speak this afternoon about the importance of high-quality postsecondary data in supporting student success. My name is Mamie Voight, and I am director of policy research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. For over two decades, IHEP has been committed to promoting access and success within higher education for all students, particularly students who have been underserved by our postsecondary system. IHEP leads the Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData), a partnership between more than 30 organizations committed to the responsible use of high-quality postsecondary data to improve student outcomes. PostsecData partners represent a broad range of constituents, including groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Young Invincibles, the State Higher Education Executive Officers, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
Quality data, when used effectively and with respect for student privacy, security, and institutional reporting burden, can and should inform decisions made by students, families, federal and state policymakers, employers, and colleges and universities. Thoughtful use of data on college access, success, cost, and outcomes can enhance educational opportunities for all students – especially low-income and underrepresented students. With better information about individual institutions and programs:
- Policymakers can better direct resources and make informed policy decisions,
- Students can make more informed choices about where to go to college, what to study, and how to pay for it, and
- Colleges and universities can identify and address roadblocks to student success.
To maintain trust in data, systems and collections must prioritize usability, privacy and security, and careful management of reporting burden to provide stakeholders with the information they need to answer critical questions and improve policy and practice...Read more.