CONSUMERIST: Congress Takes Another Stab At Undercutting Gainful Employment Rules Two Weeks Before Implementation

Career College Central Summary:

  • The Department of Education’s long-awaited gainful employment rules – aimed at reining in the for-profit college industry – go into effect on July 1. But just because there are only 14 days before implementation, doesn’t mean those opposed to the regulations are giving up their fight.
  • The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday released a spending bill that would prohibit the Dept. of Education from enforcing protections designed to ensure career colleges do a better job of preparing students for gainful employment, or risk losing access to taxpayer-funded federal student aid, the Washington Post reports.
  • According to the bill [PDF], the Dept. of Education would not be allowed to use its funding to “implement, administer, or enforce the final regulations” related to gainful employment.
  • That includes preventing the Department from moving forward with establishing a college ratings system, placing new requirements on teacher preparation, defining “credit hour,” and dictating how states must license institutions of higher education.
  • While gainful employment rules will still go into effect as planed on July 1, if the proposed provisions gain approval and are signed into law, the new protections would be repealed in October. The Post reports that it is unlikely the President would actually allow the provisions to take effect.
  • In addition to revoking protections for many students, the Committee’s spending bill would likely make it more difficult for students to even attend college, as the measure includes a provision to cut nearly $370 million in student financial assistance.

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