For-Profit Med School Seeks Gainful-Employment Exemption

Career College Central summary:

  • As the White House forges ahead with its controversial "gainful employment" rule, the nation’s only for-profit medical school is waging a lonely fight for an exemption from the measure.
  • Officials at Rocky Vista University worry that the proposed rule, which would cut off federal aid to programs whose graduates struggle to repay their debt, will force the college to abandon its mission of producing primary-care doctors, or perhaps put it out of business altogether.
  • Cheryl D. Lovell, Rocky Vista’s president, has taken the college’s case to Congress and the Education Department, arguing that it is unfair to hold her institution to a higher standard than the nation’s 171 nonprofit and public medical schools. In meeting after meeting with lawmakers and department officials, she points to the college’s 100-percent residency-placement rate as proof that its graduates are gainfully employed.
  • Under the gainful-employment rule, for-profit and vocational programs would be judged on the basis of their students' debt burdens and loan-default rates. Programs that failed either test would be required to issue debt warnings to students and could become ineligible to award federal student aid.

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Chronicle of Higher Education

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