Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Education released its final “gainful employment” rule. Under current law, career-focused educational programs are required to prepare students for employment in a recognized occupation in order for the programs’ students to be eligible for federal student aid. David A. Bergeron, Center for American Progress Vice President for Postsecondary Education—who served as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education—released the following statement:
Today’s final rule on gainful employment strikes a balance between ensuring value and quality for students and taxpayers without condemning all for-profit colleges. The Obama administration’s rule reaches a middle ground by protecting students from bad programs while giving for-profit colleges incentives to improve the performance of their programs.
Over the course of the past few years, we have all learned more about how some students have been harmed rather than helped by enrolling in for-profit colleges. Since 2010, we have seen evidence of a ripple effect based on other regulatory changes and enhanced oversight by state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Education, as well as the prospect of a future rule on gainful employment. The regulation is significantly stronger than the one struck down by courts several years ago—and it will ultimately keep the pressure on for-profit institutions to improve. The nation’s students will be better served as a result.
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