Eight Reasons Betsy DeVos Should Leave the Gainful Employment Rule Alone

Education Sec. Betsy DeVos and her Department of Education have moved to suspend borrower defense and renegotiate gainful employment (GE), two Obama administration rules aimed at reining in predatory colleges. In July hearings with the Department of Education, students, veterans, and advocacy groups expressed opposition to the renegotiation of GE. Here are some highlights from those hearings and reasons why the GE rule should stay in place as is.

  • “The gainful employment rule was designed to ensure that students attending vocational programs receive education that will allow them, at a minimum, to repay their federal student loans. [It] also protects taxpayers by ensuring that federal student loan dollars are not spent to fund career training programs that consistently fail to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.”
    – Yael Shavit, Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General
  • “[The gainful employment rule] applies to career education programs of all types of colleges and protects both students and taxpayers from fraud, waste, and abuse.  Veterans express anger when they discover that the government knew a career education program had a bad record, but allowed them to waste valuable GI Bill benefits at such a school […] I vehemently urge you to ensure that important laws and regulations protecting students are not watered down or eliminated.”
    – Will Hubbard, Vice President of Government Affairs, Student Veterans of America 
  • “The [ITT Tech] instructors did bring to class the actual experiences from what their job was associated with and the subject being taught, yet the school fell short of providing the resources they had promised, such as job placement and how the school would be paid.”
    – Kevin Thompson, Ret. U.S. Air Force AWO-1 & former ITT Technical Institute student
  • “We will continue to assert that the Department of Education has a critical responsibility to enforce policies and rules that protect America’s veterans and service members, especially from schools and programs that will leave them in deep debt for worthless degrees, do not lead to gainful employment, and recruit using fraudulent claims.”
    AND
    “We supported the gainful employment rules, as they were written, and we urge the Department to start the next round of gainful employment immediately.  Programs that fail to prepare our members for gainful employment do not deserve taxpayers’ or our veterans’ dollars.”
    – John Kamin, Assistant Director, Veterans Employment & Education Division, The American Legion
  • “Borrower protections and gainful employment provisions that address this issue on the front end are 100 percent necessary, and they needed to be implemented not today or tomorrow, but yesterday.”
    – Heather Donnithorne, Manager of Special Projects, Blue Star Families Executive Team
  • “Veterans regularly describe to VES aggressive and misleading marketing techniques that various schools use. They describe misrepresentations that schools make […] Many also describe how schools make promises about their job prospects upon graduation, but promises that do not bear out, leaving student veterans with no remaining GI Bill and, in many cases, student loan debt that they have no ability to pay.”
    – Sean Marvin, Legal Director, Veterans Education Success
  • “In order to protect students, particularly students of color, the Department should enact and implement strong regulations like the gainful employment rule that are clear, consistent, and that provide necessary relief for students who have been defrauded by these harmful institutions and practices.”
    AND
    “The gainful employment rule is a way to monitor this and keep certificate programs in check by monitoring graduates’ debt-to-income ratio.”
    – Rev. Dr. Fredrick Haynes III, Friendship-West Baptist Church
  • “Gainful employment discourages the low-quality programs that have closed to not come back, while ones with good results have nothing to fear, but problems remain. There are still hundreds of programs with tens of thousands of graduates that leave graduates with unaffordable levels of debt compared to their income […] transparency is no replacement for accountability.  Simply disclosing information late in the application process is insufficient to protect students and taxpayers.”
    – Ben Miller, Senior Director of Postsecondary Education, Center for American Progress

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