Trying Again On ‘Gainful’

WASHINGTON — The Education Department announced Monday that it would seek to rewrite controversial regulations on for-profit colleges, tighten underwriting standards for some student loans and introduce new rules on using preloaded debit cards for financial aid — a wide-ranging regulatory agenda for the first year of President Obama’s second term.

When the department begins the process to write or rewrite those rules this spring, it will be only the beginning of its attempts to set higher education policy through regulations. The notice, published in today’s Federal Register, also indicated that the administration intends to bring its regulatory authority to bear on broader issues of college access, affordability and completion.

In the coming months and years, the notice said, the department will use the regulatory process known as negotiated rule-making to pursue a “long-term agenda” that will take “several years to complete.”

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