We need to stop unscrupulous for-profit colleges and trade schools from ripping off their students and the federal government.
Up to 90% of the revenue of some of these businesses comes from federal student grants and loans. These companies reap billions of dollars in profits from taxpayers by offering substandard training and saddling students with debt they can't repay.
Many of these for-profit schools target the poor--sometimes even the homeless--with predatory, deceptive and outright fraudulent practices. They rope in students for overpriced programs, then leave them deep in debt they can't pay back.
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed new rules to protect students and taxpayers from career education programs that over-charge and under-deliver, but the rules need to be stronger. USA Today praised the Obama Administration for flagging the problem, but called the proposal "feeble" and "too accommodating."
Tell the Obama Administration that the proposed "gainful employment" rules are a welcome start, but they don't go far enough.
Federal law requires career education programs that receive federal student aid to "prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation." By defining "gainful employment" for the first time, the proposed rules make it possible to enforce this important law.
The for-profit college industry and its highly paid lobbyists are fighting hard to weaken the proposed rules, so exploitative businesses can keep profiting off federal student aid. That's why the Obama administration needs to hear from you today.
Take action and we'll send your comment to the Department of Education, which is accepting public input through September 9. We'll also share your views on the proposed rules with your members of Congress so they know you support strong "gainful employment" regulations.
Note: By submitting the form to the right, your name, address and comments will be filed with a public agency and become public record.
- Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
Career education programs that receive federal student aid funds must be held accountable for training students for good jobs without saddling them with unmanageable debt. The proposed rules on gainful employment are a good first step, but they should be strengthened to provide more meaningful protection for students and taxpayers starting next year.
Ensuring access to affordable higher education is incredibly important for our economy, but for-profit programs that over-charge and under-deliver do more harm than good, and should not be subsidized by taxpayer financed student aid.
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