Progress Stalled on New Gainful Employment Data

The U.S. Education Department has not made any progress this year toward generating data to comply with the Obama-era gainful employment rule, according to a letter last week from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The controversial regulation requires that the agency provide institutions with lists of graduates from gainful employment programs—a preliminary step for calculating debt-to-earnings ratios that aim to hold career training programs accountable when their graduates' education debts consistently exceed their ability to repay them, Inside Higher Ed reported.

The letter came in response to questions submitted by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) as part of a Senate committee's consideration of the Trump administration's 2018 budget request. Durbin noted in his questions that career education programs received the lists of graduates, known as completers lists, by June 1, 2016. Programs have 45 days to submit corrections to those lists before debt-to-earnings rates are calculated.

The department’s letter indicates that the agency will be slow to release new gainful employment data after delaying several provisions involving compliance by career education programs. "We don't have currently have any timetable to send completers lists to schools for 2017," officials said in their written response last week.

In June, the department announced that it would begin the process of rolling back the regulation, reported The Chronicle of Higher Education. The negotiated rulemaking process to rework the rule got underway last month. The department is required to comply with the regulation, as written, during that renegotiation.


Related Links

Press Release

Inside Higher Ed‘no-timetable’-new-gainful-employment-data

The Chronicle of Higher Education