NEW GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT RULE MIGHT APPLY TO ALL COLLEGES

Negotiators met for the second time last month to negotiate recommendations for the government’s re-write of the controversial Gainful Employment rules. The rules have historically applied to programs offered at proprietary schools dating back to the 1960’s when the Higher Education Act (HEA) was written. New language was introduced by the Department of Education just days before the February 2018 neg reg session which would change that; effectively making nearly all postsecondary programs Gainful Employment programs. At the same time the language provided by the Department would expand the scope of GE to all higher ed. Their language effectively reduces gainful employment to a consumer information item by removing any sanctions. Negotiators didn’t have much to say about it during the February meeting, so the final rules expected to be released later this year have a very strong chance of applying to all schools. Negotiators meet for the final GE Neg Reg session March 12-15, 2018.

As a result, school programs won’t lose federal aid eligibility when it doesn’t meet the debt-to-income ratio. The proposed regulations would also expand the scope of the gainful employment regulations to apply to all educational programs, not just non-degree programs or those at for-profits.