STATEMENT: CAP’s Ben Miller on Release of Draft “Gainful Employment” Rule

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Education took another step in its quest to make it as easy as possible for institutions of higher education to take advantage of students by publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking to eliminate gainful employment, a crucial Obama-era protection for students. Finalized in 2014, this regulation cuts off federal financial aid at career training programs where graduates take on too much debt compared with their earnings. But the draft regulation released today removes the threat of losing federal financial aid: Rather than stopping programs that lead their students into too much debt, it proposes to separately disclose debt and earnings through the College Scorecard.

Ben Miller, senior director for Postsecondary Education at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:

The draft rule released today cements the proof that past calls of so-called gainful employment for all were really efforts to achieve accountability for none. This action comes on the heels of blatant and repeated efforts from this administration to ignore its legal duty to implement the existing gainful employment regulation. Now that former executives from for-profit colleges have had a chance to rewrite the gainful employment regulation, the net effect ensures lousy programs will evade accountability and continue to receive billions in federal financial aid—even as their graduates suffer.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8137.