September 28, 2023 — Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Education published its final Gainful Employment rule — a rule that protects students from high-cost, low-value career training programs that leave students with unaffordable student debt or no increase in earnings above those with only a high school education. 

In response, Kyra Taylor, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, issued the following statement: 

“The Gainful Employment rule is a common-sense first step to make sure schools participating in the federal student aid program do not leave their students worse off. Students enroll in postsecondary education programs with hopes of improving their employment prospects and creating a better financial future for themselves and their families. However, many programs at for-profit colleges, and some certificate programs at non-profit schools, have chronically failed to provide a good return on investment for their students, and too often these programs have targeted Black and Latino students, as well as low-income students of all races and ethnicities. 

“Further, as anyone who has participated in the college search process knows, getting clear information about which programs at any postsecondary school are a good investment — or even clear information about the actual cost of attendance – is challenging.  This rule will increase transparency for prospective students about the actual costs and earning trends of graduates, regardless of which type of institution or program they attend. 

“While we are encouraged by the Department’s actions today, we know that more work remains to help the millions of borrowers who are already struggling with unaffordable debt from low-value schools. It is important that while looking forward, the Department also looks back and ensures that it remedies the harm that these poorly performing programs have already caused.”

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