Home > Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Teaching & Learning > Obama Administration Announces New Steps to Protect Students from Ineffective Career College Programs

Obama Administration Announces New Steps to Protect Students from Ineffective Career College Programs

From the US Department of Education

Today, the Obama Administration released final regulations requiring career college programs to better prepare students for “gainful employment” or risk losing access to Federal student aid. While many career college programs are helping to prepare America’s workforce for the jobs of the future, far too many students at these schools are taking on unsustainable debt in exchange for degrees and certificates that fail to help them get the jobs they need or were promised. These regulations are designed to ramp up over the next four years, giving colleges time to reform while protecting students and their families from exploitative programs.

“These new regulations will help ensure that students at these schools are getting what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “We’re giving career colleges every opportunity to reform themselves but we’re not letting them off the hook, because too many vulnerable students are being hurt,” Duncan continued.

To qualify for Federal aid, the law requires that most for-profit programs and certificate programs at nonprofit and public institutions prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation. Under the regulations introduced today, a program would be considered to lead to gainful employment if it meets at least one of the following three metrics: at least 35 percent of former students are repaying their loans (defined as reducing the loan balance by at least $1); the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate does not exceed 30 percent of his or her discretionary income; or the estimated annual loan payment of a typical graduate does not exceed 12 percent of his or her total earnings. While the regulations apply to occupational training programs at all types of institutions, for-profit programs are most likely to leave their students with unaffordable debts and poor employment prospects.

Continued at: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/gainful-employment-regulations

Also see:

Chronicle of Higher Education – For-Profit Colleges Win Major Concessions in ‘Gainful Employment Rule:   http://chronicle.com/article/For-Profit-Colleges-Win-Major/127744/

Inside Higher Ed – Concessions or Cave-in:  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/06/02/new_gainful_employment_rules

Huffington Post – White House Issues Rules on For-Profit Colleges:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/02/for-profit-college-regulations-obama-administration_n_870085.html

Washington Post – Federal ‘gainful employment’ rule tightens oversight of for-profit colleges:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/federal-gainful-employment-rule-tightens-oversight-of-for-profit-colleges/2011/06/01/AGSiAqGH_story.html

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