get the facts

Letter to Secretary Duncan from Members of Congress About For-Profit Colleges Converting to Non-Profit (April 2015)
19 Members of Congress sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan asking him to “carefully examine the recent conversions to determine whether these institutions may legitimately be treated as non-profits for purposes of Department of Education regulations or whether they instead should remain covered by the rules and notifications governing for-profits”. They also ask about the Department’s process for reviewing these conversions.

Q&A on the 90-10 Rule (March 2015). The 90-10 Rule is a federal law barring for-profit colleges from receiving more than 90% of their revenues from Department of Education federal student aid. It is modeled on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ long-standing 85-15 Rule, which prohibits more than 85% of a program’s students from receiving VA funding.

Information and background on the issue of career education accountability


A coalition of eight civil rights organizations released a policy brief today, October 29, 2014, urging the U.S. Department of Education to release a strong gainful employment regulation to protect students, particularly African-American and Latino students, from substandard career education programs. The brief, “Gainful Employment: A Civil Rights Perspective,” documents the adverse outcomes that African-American and Latino students experience as a result of policies and practices implemented at for-profit colleges. Students at for-profit colleges are much less likely to graduate, more likely to default, and more likely to incur debt than students at public and non-profit schools. The brief details how a strong gainful employment rule will provide much needed protections to both students and taxpayers.

Click here to download the brief.

December 2012 letter to Secretary Duncan from Senators inquiring about CDR manipulation

Duncan response to December 2012 letter from Senators

Gainful Employment Informational Data (June 2012)

Comments in Response to the U.S. Department of Education’s Proposed Rules for the Approval of New “Gainful Employment” Programs

Twenty-four education, student, civil rights and public policy organizations submitted public comments regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s draft regulation amending the approval process for new “gainful employment” programs to be eligible for federal financial aid. The comments address the groups’ concerns that the proposed changes “will enable institutions to easily evade the modest final gainful employment debt measures.” The comments were submitted on November 14, 2011 in response to the Federal Register Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) published on September 27, 2011.

On June 2, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education issued a final ‘gainful employment’ rule to enable enforcement of the federal law requiring any post-secondary career education program receiving federal financial aid to “prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” The final regulation applies to all career education programs, whether offered by a public, non-profit or for-profit college.

The Department’s web site has the final regulation, news release and supporting documents.

Several organizations have put out statements about the final regulation, including the American Association of University Women, the American Federation of TeachersCampus Progress, the Center for American Progress, the Council for Opportunity in EducationThe Education Trust,  The Institute for College Access & SuccessThe Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Education Association, Public Advocates Inc., U.S. PIRG and the United States Student Association.

For news coverage of the final regulations, visit our media coverage page.

Final Education Department Program Integrity rules released October 28, 2010 which includes regulations on the issues of incentive compensation, misrepresentation, state authorization and credit hour.

Proposed Education Department Gainful Employment rules released July 23, 2010

Q&A on 2011 draft Gainful Employment regulation [pdf] – March 2, 2011

The Project on Student Debt’s resource page on the federal student loan cohort default rate (CDR) provides background and useful links about cohort default rates for reporters, policymakers, and the general public.

On July 30, 2012, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin released a report on the for-profit college industry. The news release issued at the time and the full report are here.

Comments are closed.