Statement by The Education Trust on the U.S. Department of Education’s Proposed “Gainful Employment” Regulation
WASHINGTON (March 14, 2014) The Education Trust issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed gainful employment regulation, released today, which is intended to ensure that career-education programs meet minimum standards of quality and cost.
“We applaud the Obama administration for its steadfast commitment to protecting students from predatory career-education programs that leave too many students often students of color and low-income students with enormous amounts of debt, meaningless credentials, and deflated dreams, all while annually consuming billions of taxpayer dollars. The Education Department has been working on the gainful employment rule for more than five years and although it has been a long, hard struggle, these students are worth fighting for.
“Todays draft regulation includes important protections for students, including the requirement that programs prepare students for relevant state or federal licensing exams and increased transparency on cost and outcomes. However, the rule does nothing to help students hurt by shoddy career-education programs that leave tens of thousands of students in the worst of all positions with big debt and no degree, or with big debt and a worthless credential.
”As the Department moves toward finalizing the rule, we urge it to provide debt relief for students harmed by the low-quality programs that will lose eligibility under this rule. We also urge it to reconsider the decision not to include a provision that would provide more protection for schools offering students high-quality, low-cost programs.
“During the 60-day comment period, we and other student-focused organizations will point out ways the rule can be strengthened. Undoubtedly there will be others arguing to weaken it, seeking to preserve the huge profits that many of the companies that operate low-quality career colleges are racking up every year on the backs of their largely low-income students. Given how well they are financed, those voices will be powerful, but we urge the Obama administration to continue to stand up for our nations most vulnerable students.”