Advocates For A Tougher ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Step Into The Fray

Career College Central summary:

  • Student groups, veterans organizations, and others who want the federal government to put more teeth into its newest proposed “gainful employment” regulation are launching a visible lobbying and public-relations effort over the measure this week. There’s a Twitter campaign set for Wednesday—complete with its own hashtag, #studentsdemand—and a Capitol Hill news conference on Thursday featuring students at for-profit colleges and several U.S. senators.
  • “We’re going to be raising the voices of students this week,” said Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, the nonprofit group that is spearheading the effort.
  • Organizers from Young Invincibles spent Tuesday visiting with dozens of students at four for-profit colleges in the Washington, D.C., area. “There’s a lot of frustration out there” among students who want more protection from high-cost programs that don’t prepare graduates for jobs in their field, said Mr. O’Sullivan. The U.S. Department of Education’s draft rule, he said, “is not strong enough to do that.”
  • The proposed rule would cut off student aid to career-focused programs at for-profit and nonprofit colleges if the program’s student-loan default rate reached 30 percent or if half of its graduates failed two student-loan debt standards. (The complicated particulars of the rule are explained in this chart.)
  • With just two weeks to go before the May 27 deadline for the public to submit comments to the department about the rule, Young Invincibles wants to be sure its concerns and those of its allies aren’t drowned out by the messages of opposition to the rule from the for-profit-college industry. “The for-profit colleges, they’re very good at this,” Mr. O’Sullivan said.

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