MILITARY TIMES: Trade schools’ funding depends on grads getting jobs
Career College Central Summary:
Exotic dancers hired as admissions counselors. Recruiters told to seek out "impatient" individuals who have "few people in their lives who care about them." Military personnel still recovering from brain damage told to sign on the dotted line.
In the two decades since trade schools started popping up on U.S. stock exchanges to maximize profits, allegations of misconduct have been rampant. On July 1, new rules went into effect for any school with a career-training program. Graduates have to be able to earn enough money to repay their student loans, or a school risks losing access to financial aid. In general, annual loan payments shouldn't exceed 20 percent of a graduate's discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings.
It's a modest step, consumer advocates say, that will probably succeed in shutting down the most obviously fraudulent programs, often criminal justice and medical training programs that can cost as much as $75,000 but aren't sought after by employers. Still, the government's new definition for "gainful employment" is unlikely to change what's become a complicated, enduring problem in the United States.
Too many poor kids, mostly minorities, are reaching adulthood with little education, no prospect of attending a four-year traditional college and not enough time, money or know-how to figure out an alternative path through a local community college. What these students do have is eligibility for government-backed student loans and grants, making them targets for predatory lending schemes that look much like tactics used by subprime lenders during the housing crisis.
Meanwhile, there remains little appetite in Congress and the White House to wade into the business of deciding which diplomas and schools are worthwhile. House and Senate Republicans have proposed blocking enforcement of the regulations, while the White House said it's backing off the idea of developing its own college ratings plan.
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