Franken introduces Net Price Calculator bill

Taylor Nachtigal

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa have introduced legislation to aid students and families in estimating college costs, before they apply to the school, according to a press release.

The bipartisan bill aims to improve the "effectiveness of and access to" the Net Price Calculator tool, which provides a cost estimate to students that takes into account financial aid and individual institution costs, according to the press release. 

The Net Price Calculator Improvement Act of 2014 would work with the Department of Education to develop a uniform, "universal calculator" that would provide students with information that would allow them to compare a variety of universities, according to the press release. 

Franken's initiatives follow rising costs in higher education throughout the country and particularly high levels of student loan debt in the state of Minnesota

"If students and parents have more information on college costs early on when shopping for colleges, they'll be able to use that information to comparison-shop. The more information available, the more there will be price competition that will keep tuition costs down," Franken said in the press release.