Revised ‘Gainful Employment’ Rule Breaks Little New Ground

The Education Department released a revised “gainful employment” rule late Thursday, a little less than two years after a federal judge threw out the original measure, calling portions of it “arbitrary.”

The new proposal hews closely to a draft version rejected by a rule-making committee in December, judging for-profit and vocational programs based on their graduates’ debt levels and their borrowers’ default rates. The cutoffs for programs to pass and fail the rule are unchanged from the draft proposal, as are the associated penalties.

After the revised rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to comment on it. The department will consider that feedback before publishing a final rule in the following months.

Debt-to-Earnings Measures

Under the new proposal, programs would fail if their graduates’ student-loan debt payments exceeded 12 percent of their incomes and 30 percent of their discretionary incomes, the same ratios as in the original rule and the draft considered by negotiators this past fall. <Read more.>

Via Kelly Field, The Chronicle of Higher Education.