Despite being labeled as “#FakeNews” by President Donald Trump, it appears that a memo leaked to the New York Times was the real deal. On August 14, the Department published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking to rescind the gainful employment regulations which were enacted to ensure that certain programs lead to employment in a recognized occupation. Although the rules applied mostly to public community colleges and for-profit private colleges, opponents have long called for an elimination of the regulations and to have them apply to all college programs, including those at public and private colleges and universities. This has prompted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to not only rescind the current regulations, but to update the College Scorecard, or a similar web-based tool, to provide program-level outcomes for all higher education programs, at all Title IV participating institutions regardless of their tax status or governance.
The public will have 30 days, until September 13, 2018 to provide comments on the subject. The only question is whether ED will try to produce final regulations by the October 31st master calendar deadline or not. If they produce final rules by then, they will have an effective date of July 1, 2019…Otherwise the can might just get kicked down the road for good.