The Student Access Student Choice (SASC) coalition today issued a statement expressing disappointment in the delivery to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) of the U.S. Department of Education’s (DoE) "gainful employment" rule. The rule will essentially keep thousands of prospective students from receiving financial aid to enroll in career college and university programs.
"Both the process and the policy driving the Department of Education’s ‘gainful employment’ proposal has been flawed from the start. From bipartisan opposition to factual inaccuracies in the data to suggestions of possible malfeasance, new reasons pop up almost daily to suspend efforts to turn this proposal into official policy," said Phil Singer, spokesman for the Student Access Student Choice (SASC) coalition. "Over the last few weeks, a bipartisan group of 118 Members of Congress urged the Education Department to re-evaluate ‘gainful employment’; Members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Hispanic Caucus expressed concern over how the regulation would affect minorities; and the department’s own inspector general opened a probe into whether Wall Street short-sellers were given undue access and influence. DoE even incorrectly calculated default rates from career college graduates, forcing the department to recalculate its own data after the rule had already been written.
Furthermore, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report used by the Education Department as the basis for writing the regulation was proven illegitimate after the GAO was forced to revise substantial errors of fact." Singer concluded, "Instead of advancing ‘gainful employment,’ the department should be giving it a time out and suspending all activity due to the troubling questions behind the data used to author the rule and alleged collusion with special interests promoting it."