For-Profit Colleges: New Rules Will Hurt Students

For-profit colleges expressed their disappointment with new rules handed down by the Obama administration on Thursday that dictate whether such institutions would continue to receive federal student aid.

The finalized rules, a revision of guidelines originally proposed in July 2010, target for-profit schools that don’t prepare their students for "gainful employment" and instead leave them with a mountain of student loan debt and nothing to show for it. While the government argues that the new rules will ensure students don’t get ripped off, for-profit colleges argue that the regulations will actually hurt their students.

“The question is, does this catch a few outliers, or does it disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of students from a chance to obtain a post-secondary education?” asked Harris Cooper, president and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit schools.

At issue are the criteria the Department of Education will use to assess the effectiveness of occupational training programs at any institution, though as the agency explains, “for-profit programs are most likely to leave their students with unaffordable debts and poor employment prospects.”

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