Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced its final Gainful Employment rule. The Gainful Employment rule was a 2015 regulation that required vocational programs at for-profit higher education institutions and non-degree programs at community colleges to prove their graduates were financially able to pay back student loan debt in order to receive federal funding for student aid. The final rule, released yesterday, indicated that this regulation will be repealed effective July 1, 2020.
“The decision by Secretary DeVos to completely rescind the Gainful Employment rule further demonstrates that this Department would rather bolster the bottom lines of low-quality, for-profit colleges than protect the interests of students,” said Congresswoman Hayes.
“45 million Americans – myself included – hold a total of nearly $1.6 trillion in student debt. If we are expecting students to take on this incredible burden just to better themselves and their futures, the least the Department of Education can do is ensure that taxpayer money will only go to programs that actually give these students the tools needed to repay their debt. While this action by the Department is shameful, it is not surprising given the Department’s history of rolling back and watering down regulations meant to protect students - especially low-income students and students of color who attend for-profit colleges in higher numbers. Education should be a tool to lift students out of poverty, not yet another barrier to becoming self-sufficient, productive citizens.”