The U.S. Education’s Department final gainful employment regulation was made public on Monday, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that for-profit colleges aren’t the only higher education institutions that will be affected by the new rule.
This is a big, complicated measure — one that will be “a game-changer for all of higher education, placing new limits on student borrowing and creating new definitions of student success,” the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote in a comprehensive piece this morning.
The gainful-employment rule, with its controversial “metrics” for evaluating institutions, gives the Education Department a much larger role in defining and assessing college quality. It lets the government decide whether a vocational program is a good investment and effectively limits what certain institutions can charge for programs in low-wage fields.
By linking a program’s eligibility for federal aid to its students’ debt burdens, the department hopes to encourage colleges to lower their prices or adjust their offerings to prepare students for better-paying jobs.
But critics of the rule, like Harris N. Miller, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, accuse the department of “price fixing.”
The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) also offered good insight today into the gainful employment measure. As NAICU mentions, the National Student Loan Data System will host at least two webinars on the topic starting June 28.