For-Profit Colleges Draw a Battle Line Against U.S DOE Gainful Employment Regulation

Dear Commons Community,

As the U.S. Department of Education edges closer to enacting a new “gainful employment” regulation, battle lines are being drawn especially by the for-profit colleges. As reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

“The for-profit-college industry’s trade association, backed by a 100-page report by economists, is coming out swinging against the U.S. Department of Education’s draft “gainful employment” regulation.

The proposal is “flawed, arbitrary, and biased,” and will deny educational access to as many as 7.5 million students over the next decade, contends the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, or Apscu, in documents it is filing on Tuesday.

In a preview of what will be its likely legal challenge should the rule be adopted in its current form, Apscu attacks the department for relying on “discredited sources” in developing the regulation and says the rule would affect and deny access to far more for-profit-college students than the department has projected.”

However, advocates for the new regulations are not backing down:

“…a coalition seeking an even tougher [gainful employment] rule contends that it is necessary because so many low-income and minority students “are heavily recruited” by, and enroll at, for-profit colleges with poor outcomes for students. Apscu’s argument misses the broader point, said Rory O’Sullivan, deputy director of Young Invincibles, one of the groups in the coalition.

“We want to open doors for students,” he said. “We don’t want to open doors that lead them off cliffs.”

The for-profit colleges brought this on themselves. A number of them took advantage of at risk individuals who had little chance of succeeding in their programs and only to leave these students in a mountain of federal financial loan debt.


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