Department Of Education Extends Talks On ‘Gainful Employment’

Career College Central summary:

  • An official from the Department of Education said this week that the federally appointed committee tasked with rewriting the Obama administration’s “gainful employment” regulations will continue its deliberations in December. Negotiations over the rules were slated to end Wednesday, but members of the panel were not close to reaching an agreement after more than five full days of debate over the last several months. The committee is charged with rewriting rules that were blocked by a federal judge earlier this year.
  • The regulations would condition federal student aid to career-training programs at for-profit and community colleges on their ability to meet certain standards. The department is proposing metrics that would judge graduates’ earnings relative to their earnings, the rate at which former students default on their student loans and whether former students are paying down at least the interest on their loans.
  • Negotiators were still at odds Wednesday over how those standards should be set, which programs ought to be exempt, and what information schools should be required to disclose to students.  
  • Representatives from for-profit and community colleges said the rules would unfairly harm their institutions, punishing them for enrolling low-income and otherwise disadvantaged students. Several members of the panel have also said they cannot effectively discuss the department’s latest proposal, which is more stringent than previous drafts, until the department releases an analysis of how the rules would impact institutions.

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