[STATEMENT] Higher Learning Advocates Responds to DeVos Changes to Gainful Employment Rule

A backward step for accountability and outcomes for today’s students

For Immediate Release: August 10, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug 10, 2018) — Today, Julie Peller, executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, released a statement responding to the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to substantially rollback the Gainful Employment rule, a federal regulation that holds institutions of higher education accountable for the earning levels of their graduates.

“The U.S. Department of Education’s action today in proposing to repeal the Gainful Employment rule marks the disappointing conclusion to months of speculation. The Department took a step backwards on ensuring the best outcomes for today’s students – including our most disadvantaged students – by proposing to repeal this rule and rolling back the sanctions for underperforming programs. Many of today’s students – for reasons of mobility, affordability, or practicality – will ultimately choose from a small number of colleges close to home. Transparency is critical, but ultimately, insufficient without real accountability.

We do hope the added public reporting of earnings by program, which ED says it intends to publish, at least gives students clearer information they need to make the important decision of which college to attend, and at best, shines a bright light on poor performing institutions. We will be monitoring how the Department implements this reporting of earnings on the College Scorecard and will continue to urge them to ensure the data is accurate, timely and consumer friendly. If done properly, this reporting for all programs at all institutions could help determine the value of a program of higher education and better serve students and families.

However, the Department of Education needs to do a better job ensuring students and taxpayers aren’t wasting time and money at institutions that routinely produce poor student outcomes and if those poor-performing institutions don’t improve, they should close their doors. The value of an informational tool does not outweigh the loss of this much-needed accountability requirement. To that end, we will continue our work to ensure the best outcomes for today’s students.”


Contact: Ted Eismeier, teismeier@higherlearningadvocates.org