Proposed Gainful Employment Rule: Boon or Bane?

With the release of the "gainful employment" rule, speculations abound - is the rule tough enough or "biased and arbitrary"?

DURHAM, N.C., May 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- On March 14, 2014 when Obama Administration announced the new "gainful employment" rule, affected postsecondary schools and consumer rights groups greeted them cautiously.   The new rule centers on controlling college debt and ensuring that program training result in gainful employment.  U.S Education Secretary Arne Duncan has stated in connection with the proposed rules, "Higher education is supposed to broaden the door for opportunity, but students enrolled in the low-performing programs end up at a worst place before they had enrolled: saddled by debt and with rare options for career[1]." "The proposed regulations", he elaborated "will be addressing growing concerns related to loan debts which are unaffordable for those students who enrolled in these lowest-performing programs and will shine a light on best practices, and give an opportunity to those programs to improve."


The public's response to the proposed rules is mixed.  Four U.S. Democratic Senators have expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed regulations and have urged the Department of Education to move "further and faster, and more aggressively" to toughen the rule. However, Steve Gunderson, President of Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities assailed the proposed regulation for being highly biased against the proprietary sector, flawed and arbitrary. He said, "The U.S. Department of Education's actions hint at a flawed rule-making process with the sole goal of reaching a predetermined conclusion that may result in eliminating higher-education access and opportunity for millions of students based on the type of institution they attend."

Public comments to the proposed regulations are due May 27, 2014 and the final regulation is due for issuance sometime before November 1, 2014.  The questions that linger are what will the final version of the rule look like and how will the Department balance the call by the coalition of veteran groups and consumer students to procure an even tougher rule than the original one while protecting itself from litigation by the institutions affected by the rule who are likely to challenge the rules.[3].  

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SOURCE Audio Educator



Higher Education, Home Schooling, U.S. State Policy

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