Looking for our new site?

Higher Ed Watch

A Blog from New America's Higher Education Initiative

< Back to the Education Policy Program

Gainful Employment Rule is Out: Was it Worth the Wait?

Published:  June 2, 2011

Nearly a year after first proposing it, the Department of Education this morning officially issued the final version of its "Gainful Employment" Rule, which aims to stop for-profit colleges from saddling students with unmanageable levels of debt. As has been noted in numerous news stories, the Department made very large concessions to the for-profit higher education industry. As a result, the initial reaction from consumer advocacy groups has been lukewarm at best. Meanwhile, career college lobbyists remain -- unsurprisingly -- dissatisfied with the changes.

At Higher Ed Watch, we will provide our own analysis of the final regulation after we have thoroughly reviewed it. In the meantime, though, here are some helpful links to find out more about the rule, and to see what the press and various interested parties are saying about it.


The Department announcement of the rule (which has links to the regulation, and supplemental information about it) can be found here.


Here's a selection of coverage from publications that have been covering the fight over this regulation particularly closely:

Bloomberg: For-Profit Colleges Get More Time to Comply With U.S. Aid Rules

Chronicle of Higher Education: For-Profit Colleges Win Major Concessions in Final 'Gainful Employment' Rule

Huffington Post: For-Profit College Regulations: Obama Administration Issues Rules

Inside Higher Ed: Concessions or a Cave-in?

MarketWatch: For-profit schools lead on looser U.S. rule

NPR: Softened' Regulations Issued For For-Profit Schools

New York Times: Education Department Increases Its Regulation of For-Profit Colleges

Washington Post: Federal ‘gainful employment’ rule tightens oversight of for-profit colleges


Statement from the Association of Private-Sector Colleges and Universities (formerly known as the Career College Association)

Statement from the Coalition for Educational Success


Statement from the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS)

Statement from the American Association of University Women

Statement from the American Federation of Teachers

Statement from Campus Progress

Statement from the Council for Opportunity in Education

Statement from The Education Trust

Statement from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Statement from the National Education Association

Statement from Public Advocates Inc.

Statement from U.S. PIRG

Statement from the United States Student Association


Statement from Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Statement from Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY), the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

Statement from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Statement from Reps. John Kline (R-MN), the chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Virginia Foxx (R-NC), the chairwoman of the panel's higher education subcommittee

Statement from Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee

Press release from House Democratic supporters of the for-profit higher education industry


Analysis from Jarrel Price of Height Analytics

Analysis from Trace Urdan of Signal Hill

Report from StreetInsider.com

Report from Bloomberg BusinessWeek

We will update this post throughout the day with links to additional statements as they become available.

Join the Conversation

Please log in below through Disqus, Twitter or Facebook to participate in the conversation. Your email address, which is required for a Disqus account, will not be publicly displayed. If you sign in with Twitter or Facebook, you have the option of publishing your comments in those streams as well.

Related Programs