NCES Publishes Guide to Required HEA Information Disclosures
October 23, 2009
Help is now available for institutions trying to comply with the more than 40 information disclosure requirements imposed by the Higher Education Act. A new report, prepared by the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC) and published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), provides a comprehensive listing of these requirements and suggests improvements in how to disseminate the information.
Institutions may post most of the information disclosures on their Web sites. However, the NPEC working group noted, the required information disclosures can often be difficult for students and others to find on institution Web sites. In addition, a great deal of variation exists in how institutions categorize the information.
The NPEC working group offers five suggestions for institutions:
- Focus both on compliance and communication. While institutions want to clearly comply with federal requirements, students and other consumers are interested in the topics covered rather than the federal mandate. Titles should reflect content.
- Develop a single page on the institution's Web site that provides hyperlinks to the HEA disclosure information. A portal page that gathers links to all the information, regardless of its source, will be easier for consumers to find. It will also be easier for the institution to ensure compliance.
- Adopt a "3-click" approach. Don't bury the information too deeply.
- Use consumer-friendly labels and language whenever possible. Avoid institutional and technical jargon.
- Use a common set of content titles. A suggested list of content titles for institutional portal pages is provided. Standardization of the titles and organization will help consumers understand and compare information across institutions.
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