Rep. Takano Issues Statement on Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Regulation Process

Washington DC – Earlier today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) issued the following statement as the Department of Education-designated negotiated rulemaking committee began meetings to establish gainful employment regulations for career-oriented higher education programs:
“I’m pleased to see the Department of Education moving forward with the process of establishing gainful employment standards for career-oriented programs at institutions of higher education. It is important that students who choose to pursue these types of programs receive valuable degrees and certifications that prepare them for the workforce, and that taxpayer dollars used for federal student financial aid are being well spent.
“Unfortunately, many schools in the for-profit education sector leave their students with massive amounts of debt and useless degrees. Despite enrolling nearly 10% of all post-secondary school students and receiving about 25% of all Pell Grants and federal student loans, the for-profit industry accounts for nearly half of all student defaults and, in 2010, graduated just 28% of its students.
“Last week, I launched an online campaign on CREDOMobilize.com to oppose HR 2637, the ‘Academic Freedom Through Regulatory Relief Act,’ which would strip the Department of Education’s ability to establish gainful employment standards. In less than one week, we have received over 91,000 signatures asking Congress not to get in the way of the government’s attempt protect students and taxpayers.
“Congress should take note and reconsider HR2637. Students who have committed themselves to higher education should not be left without some of the most basic protections.”