For-Profit College Aid Rules Sent for White House Review

Proposed rules that would restrict for-profit colleges’ access to student aid have been sent to the White House for review, bringing them a step closer to approval.

The Education Department regulations, known as "gainful employment," were sent to the White House’s Office of Management & Budget yesterday, said Jane Glickman, a department spokeswoman.

For-profit colleges and their lobbyists have fought the proposal, which ties access to federal student grants and loans to former students’ incomes and loan-repayment rates. Budget office reviews are typically limited to 90 days and the OMB expects to conclude the examination before that deadline, said Meg Reilly, a spokeswoman for the office. This is the final step in the government’s review before the rules are published, she said.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan delayed issuing the rules in September after the department received about 90,000 letters, most of them voicing opposition to the regulations. Education companies doubled their spending on Washington lobbying last year to at least $6.6 million to defeat the rules, according to Opensecrets.org, a website that tracks lobbying and campaign spending.

For-profit colleges have said that the rules unfairly punish schools that serve low-income students. More than 100 U.S. lawmakers led by Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida wrote President Barack Obama April 27, asking him to “jettison” the proposal.

BLOOMBERG

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