Tallahassee Democrat Tom Feeney: Proposal Threatens Opportunity For Students
Career College Central Summary:
Our annual job growth rate of 3.3 percent is the fastest since 2006, and Florida’s month-over-month private sector job growth has been positive for the past 34 consecutive months. Florida businesses have created more than 600,000 jobs since 2010, while the state’s unemployment rate has remained below the national unemployment rate for the last nine consecutive months.
The proposed gainful employment regulation will force schools to cut programs if their graduates are unable to meet a set of arbitrary salary and loan repayment thresholds. While the regulatory language includes all postsecondary institutions offering certificate and two-year career education programs, make no mistake about it: The higher, non-taxpayer subsidized tuition costs of career colleges make them squarely (and unfairly) the government’s target.
Consider the impact in Florida, where more than 1,000 career college campuses are educating more than 300,000 students — almost one in five of all 12-month enrollments. The government estimates that the proposed rule, due to take effect soon, will impact about 20 percent of programs immediately. Another 10 percent of programs would be relegated to the department’s putative penalty box, a gray zone of possible sanctions sure to cast a chill on new student enrollments.
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) recently released a report finding that the regulation could impact up to 44 percent of career college students. In Florida, the new rule would have the potential to push 132,000 students out of higher education.
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