No Consensus On ‘Gainful Employment’

Career College Central summary:

  • Last week, the Department of Education’s rulemaking session on “gainful employment” regulations ended in a stalemate. The panel of department-appointed negotiators was unable to reach consensus on the proposed standards for vocational programs at for-profit institutions and community colleges. Dissent came from representatives of both the for-profit and consumer-group camps.
  • The feds will now submit their own final draft of the regulations for a public comment period. They are not required to listen to suggestions negotiators floated during rulemaking meetings. But a department official said they would try to incorporate some of what they heard.
  • “The department is not bound by the proposed language that we worked on today,” said John Kolotos, a department official who served as the federal government’s lead representative during the process. He said participants’ views “will be carefully considered” as the department works on the draft regulations, which he said should be released early next year.
  • The final meeting on Friday was the last of three sessions held here in recent months. The department revised drafts of the rules twice during the negotiations. In November the department added a minimum loan repayment rate to the two other metrics, which would set minimum floors for a program’s cohort loan default rate and for the debt-to-income levels of graduates.

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