This has got to scare you.

The upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which dictates how colleges report things such as revenue, tuition and enrollment, has some local college officials concerned.

The Education Department is searching for a way to collect more meaningful and accurate information about colleges. One way to do that, according to the Education Department, is to change the way colleges report information. The agency proposed collecting unit record data and tracking each individual student throughout their career.

…The new reporting system under consideration will track individual students and will keep all records indefinitely. By doing so the department said it can provide the public with more accurate retention and graduation rates, a true cost of higher education and measure colleges’ performance.

…Elisabeth Muhlenfeld, president of Sweet Briar College, agrees with the Education Department that people need to know whether or not colleges are doing what they are supposed to and if they’re efficient or not.

She still has concerns, however.

This legislation “really does raise a big specter of big government tracking students. … It does move us closer to the big brother society,” she said.