Sen. Rick Scott Introduces STEM Act to End Skyrocketing Higher Education Costs

September 27, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott introduced the Student Training and Education Metrics (STEM) Act to force universities to take more responsibility when it comes to preparing students for successful careers. The STEM Act is the first proposal in Senator Scott’s plan to lower the cost of higher education and ensure graduates are prepared to get jobs.


Senator Rick Scott said, “Today, I am introducing the STEM Act  to offer a solution to make higher education more affordable and ensure schools are preparing students for jobs. Just like I did as Governor of Florida, I’m working to make sure colleges and universities never raise tuition or fees on our students. My STEM Act eliminates all federal funding for institutions that raise tuition, requires standards and metrics for both for-profit and non-profit colleges, and holds colleges and universities accountable for a portion of student loans. The Democrats’ plans to eliminate all student loan debt is a fairy tale that would only make bad behavior worse. Proposals to make everything free seems great, but would bankrupt families. We need to focus on real solutions to bring down the cost of higher education and make sure students are prepared for jobs.”

The STEM Act encourages higher education institutions to prepare students for high-paying jobs by:

  1. Tuition Lock
    • Under the STEM Act, an institution will be ineligible to receive any federal funds if that institution raises the amount of tuition and fees charged above the tuition and fees charged for the 2019-2020 academic year.
    • There’s no reason universities should be raising costs on our students, even one bit. Businesses have to get more productive each year, so should our colleges and universities.

  1. Put institutions on the hook for student loan debt
    • By forcing universities to take more responsibility, they will have more of an incentive to actually prepare students for careers – instead of encouraging mountains of debt and degrees that don’t lead to jobs after graduation.
    • The STEM Act creates an agreement between institutions and students. Beginning the first year after enactment, an institution is responsible for 1% of the loan balance of students who are in default, within the first three fiscal years where their loans have entered repayment. Institutions are responsible for 2% in the second year, increasing to 10% of that balance at the end of 10 years.

  1. Metrics
    • The STEM Act requires the Secretary of Education to publish a variety of important and common-sense metrics, such as the 6-year graduation rate for each academic program offered in their institution, the percentage of graduates who are employed full-time or continuing their education full-time after graduation, and the cost to graduate with a degree for each academic program.
    • Metrics create accountability to make sure all higher education institutions are doing their most important job: preparing students for the opportunity to get a great job, build a career and become self-sufficient.