Statement by The Education Trust on the U.S. Department of Education’s Final Gainful Employment Rule
WASHINGTON (October 31, 2014) — The Education Trust issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s final Gainful Employment rule:
“The abuses by career colleges are well documented. Many aggressively recruit students by offering the false promise of a rewarding career and charging ridiculously high fees for a low-quality education that rarely results in completion. Students of color and low-income students are disproportionately hurt by these predatory practices. Without the protections offered by stronger oversight and accountability, students will continue to enroll in these programs and be left with debilitating debt, no degree, or a degree with no labor market value.
“The final Gainful Employment rule will trigger sanctions on career colleges that have a pattern of graduating students saddled with high debt, low probability of working in the careers for which they’ve just completed training, and unlikely odds of repaying their loans. This metric is helpful, and the rule will indeed eliminate some of the worst abusers that are churning out worthless diplomas.
However, along with others in the coalition of organizations working to protect students from schools that do more harm than good, we had hoped for much more. Schools can still recruit and enroll students in programs with abysmal completion and default rates. And, sadly, students are still responsible for repaying loans, even if the school loses eligibility for federal aid.
The stronger disclosures required by the rule will provide more insight for students and their families, but factors like repayment rates are still excluded. And, ultimately, it is students rather than institutions that will remain exposed to the greatest risk.”