Department of Education Public Meetings

Last week, the Department of Education held public meetings on its proposed gainful employment regulation where just under 80 groups were given the opportunity to speak out for or against the rule. Of these groups, an overwhelming majority criticized the rule in what Inside Higher Ed deemed ‘uneventful hearings.’

See below for an excerpt from Chronicle of Higher Education’s Goldie Blumenstyk:

At an unusual public hearing on Thursday, a parade of critics of the U.S. Department of Education’s planned “gainful employment” regulation decried the proposal as “anti-business” and “illogical, unfair, and beyond the agency’s authority,” while supporters of the rule backed it as a “necessary and important safeguard” that, if anything, needed to be made even tougher.

The comments came during the first of two days of meetings the department is holding to hear, in person, from some of the 90,000 or so people and organizations that submitted a record number of comments about the proposed rule. The next session is tomorrow.

As proposed, the regulation could eliminate federal financial aid for career-focused programs at for-profit and nonprofit colleges where high proportions of students are not repaying the principal on their student loans or end up with excessive debt loads for the salaries they can earn. The proposed regulation has been the focus of intense debate, heated lobbying, and some high-profile media campaigns by the for-profit-college industry.

At the sessions on Thursday, most speakers used their five minutes at the podium to politely but pointedly revisit some of those same issues.

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