Published: September 2018

ED’s latest regulatory rollback favors scam schools over students and taxpayers

Consumer Action joined more than 60 organizations and advocates in submitting joint comments on the U.S. Department of Education's proposal to eliminate the gainful employment rule that protects students and taxpayers from spending money on career education programs that do not prepare students for gainful employment as required under federal law. The coalition urged the Department to abandon their proposal to eliminate the existing rule and instead start properly enforcing the current rule.

In formal comments filed with the U.S. Department of Education, advocates argue that Secretary DeVos’ plan to eliminate the gainful employment rule violates the Department of Education’s legal obligations and disregards strong evidence that accountability standards are needed to protect students and taxpayers who interact with these for-profit schools–and often find themselves saddled with insurmountable debt.

The gainful employment rule guides federal funding of career education, applying to non-degree programs at public and nonprofit institutions and all programs at for-profit colleges. Under the rule, a program loses access to federal funds if it repeatedly leaves its graduates with unaffordable debts, relative to their earnings. The rule is needed to prevent programs like these from continuing to bilk students and taxpayers, and to keep unscrupulous schools from enrolling as many students as possible without regard to the quality of their training or the size of their students’ debts.

Lead Organization

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS)

Other Organizations

Allied Progress | American Association of University Women (AAUW) | American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) | American Federation of Teachers | Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund | Association of the United States Navy | Association of Young Americans (AYA) | Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) | Center for Public Interest Law | Center for Responsible Lending | Children's Advocacy Institute | The College Access Consortium of New York, Inc. | College Advising Corps | Consumer Action | Consumer Advocacy and Protection Society (CAPS) | Consumer Federation of California | Demos | East Bay Community Law Center | The Education Trust | EMPath | Empire Justice Center | Generation Progress | Goddard Riverside Community Center | Government Accountability Project | The Harvard Project on Predatory Student Lending | Higher Ed Not Debt | Higher Education Loan Coalition | Hildreth Institute | Housing and Economic Rights Advocates | The Legal Aid Society of NYC | Legal Services NYC | Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition | Mississippi Center for Justice | NAACP | National Association for College Admission Counseling | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) | National Center for Law and Economic Justice | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Consumers League | National Student Legal Defense Network | National Urban League | New America Education Policy Program | New Settlement Apartments College Access Center | New York Communities for Change | New Yorkers for Responsible Lending | NJ Citizen Action | One Wisconsin Now | PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts) | Public Citizen | Public Counsel | Public Good Law Center | Public Law Center | Service Employees International Union (SEIU) | StreetSquash | Student Action | Student Debt Crisis | Student Veterans of America | The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) | U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) | UnidosUS | United States Student Association | University of San Diego Veterans Legal Clinic | Veterans Education Success | Veterans for Common Sense | Vietnam Veterans of America | Woodstock Institute | Young Invincibles

More Information

Click here to read the coalition letter in full.

For more information, please visit TICAS.

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