Dept. of Ed. to focus on new “gainful employment” rule for career colleges

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By Consumers Union on Thursday, June 20th, 2013

The U.S. Department of Education made a big announcement this week regarding plans to clean up problems in the for-profit college industry This Fall, the Department will begin a special session to write new “gainful employment” rules for career college programs, in order to keep tabs on for-profit schools like DeVry or ITT Technical Institute.

The “gainful employment” rule sets minimum standards that these schools have to meet in order to get taxpayer money and stay in business.  The rule is meant to keep low-quality schools from receiving taxpayer dollars while enrolling students in worthless programs.  All too often, students who enroll in career college programs end up saddled with big student loans and unable to find jobs.

At a series of recent hearings held around the country last month, the Department heard resounding calls from students, consumer advocates, and civil rights groups urging them to revisit the rule, which has been held up in federal court.

In our testimony at one of the hearings, we urged them to remember that students are consumers, too, and they deserve a fair deal.  We told them it’s high time that students and taxpayers stopped paying for career college programs that do little more than put students in a lifetime of debt.

Have you ever attended a for-profit college, or do you know someone who has?  If so, tell us in the comments.

 

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