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U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Representing the 30th District of Texas

Congresswoman Johnson Writes Secretary DeVos: Protect Students Not For-Profit Colleges Through Department Rulemaking

Sep 7, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson yesterday submitted comments to Secretary Betsy DeVos during the Department of Education’s public comment period on a proposed rule change to rescind the Gainful Employment (GE) regulation, which ensures career programs keep tuition and fees in line with the earnings students could reasonably expect to make because of enrollment. The proposed changes would no longer require programs that fail to meet department standards, measuring a student’s prospective income versus debt incurred, to disclose their failed status but would allow them to still receive federal student aid.

“These changes by the Department of Education hurt students and benefit failing institutions,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “According to data released last year, 98% of the 800-plus programs which failed to meet the standards were offered at for-profit colleges. This is yet another example of a department led by Secretary DeVos that favors the success of colleges which fail their students over the success of students themselves.”

New estimates from the department project that an additional $5 billion of federal student aid will flow to programs that would have been barred from receiving them under GE. This entails not just less funding for students in programs with a proven track record of success but greater economic burdens for students who enroll in underperforming educations programs.

“Following the lead set by the current administration, Secretary DeVos has exclusively implemented policies and regulatory rules that make it harder for students to succeed under the growing burdens of student loan debt,” said Congresswoman Johnson. “I fail to identify the logic in these decisions if the department is sincerely seeking to fulfill its mission. Sadly, it seems the goal of Secretary DeVos’ Education Department is not to help students succeed but rather her friends in the for-profit industry.”

The full comments from Congresswoman Johnson can be read here.

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