Friday, September 24, 2010

Gainful Employment on Hold

by Daniel L. Bennett

If you are one of our loyal readers who has an interest in for-profit education, then you probably already heard rumors that the highly controversial gainful employment rule being levied by the Department of Education is being pushed back. According to the Chronicle:
The U.S. Department of Education will announce on Friday a new "timetable" for the release of rules aimed at the for-profit higher-education industry
It should come as no surprise that ED is putting this thing on hold given the serious criticism the rule has received (e.g - Parthenon Group, Charles Rivers Associates, Mark Kantrowitz) and the fact that ED received up to 130,000 comments on the rule that it is obligated to review, not to mention the political timing is terrible as midterm elections are in less than 40 days.

CCAP is generally among those critical of the proposal on the grounds that it was crafted in haste and its methodology is seriously flawed, it will decrease access to postsecondary education for many non-traditional students, it will likely add to the costs of providing an education, and the fact that the rules were designed to attack one sector while largely giving the others a free pass. We do however recognize that there are some serious issues in all of higher education (growing debt burdens, predatory recruiting, malfeasance, etc), and not just the for-profit world, that need to be eradicated and should be prosecuted. Taxpayers are forking over (perhaps the proper analogy is being knived for) hundreds of billions of dollars annually to subsidize so-called higher education, and many people on the receiving end of these expenditures, as supposed public stewards, are abusing their privileges.

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