By Katherine Knott
Republicans argue that college prices are too high for inadequate outcomes and that institutions are to blame. Democrats focus their ire on for-profit colleges.
Michael Horn, a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, and several lawmakers said there needs to be more transparency up front about the cost of college. The Government Accountability Office recently criticized institutions’ financial aid offers for failing to tell students how much their education would cost.
“The opacity works in favor of the colleges in many cases,” Horn said. “It obscures and creates a social-emotional feeling of ‘Oh I got a scholarship’ when in fact they’re net tuition discounting … I would argue it’s a shortsighted part of the model as well, because it undermines trust in the institutions as the price tag has gone up over time.”