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CRL and Department of Education to Negotiate Gainful Employment Rule

Thursday, November 30, 2017
Whitney Barkley-Denney

Negotiated rule making process will include various education and consumer advocates from across the country.

*Advisory for Monday, Dec 4 to Thursday, Dec 7, 2017*

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, December 4, 2017, at approximately 9 a.m. ET the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) along with various advocacy organizations including the Maryland Consumer Rights Center, will participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) negotiated rulemaking process on the Gainful Employment (GE) Rule. This will be the second of two negotiated rulemakings where CRL is representing consumers before DOE officials.  CRL remains committed to working to ensuring that the important protections created by Gainful Employment are left in place.

The decision to re-do this negotiated rulemaking process was announced following the Department of Education’s ill-advised decision to rescind the Obama era’s Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment regulations—two rules that CRL supported. The upcoming session is part of a series that will occur over three weeks on departmental rules. The first such convening occurred in 2013; next week’s hearing will be the fourth in less than five years.

The GE rule holds career training programs responsible for providing appropriate value in exchange for costs incurred, protecting both students and taxpayers. CRL feels that the rule should be allowed to work as originally intended, flagging worthless programs that leave students with debt that they cannot repay. The current standards require that these programs prepare students for gainful employment as measured by a student’s subsequent earnings in relationship to the amount of debt incurred for the program.  

Although the rule is not limited to for-profit colleges, 98 percent of programs rated “fail” in the first reporting of the GE data earlier this year were for-profit programs. This finding is consistent with the history of predatory practices and poor outcomes associated with for-profit institutions.

Negotiators will attempt to strike an agreement on standards for career training programs that receive federal financial aid. 

In addition to this month’s meeting, future rulemaking discussions will take place in January.

*** If you have questions regarding this meeting please email Charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org ***

Washington, D.C. – Monday, December 4, 2017

WHO: Whitney Barkley-Denney, Senior Policy Counsel, Center for Responsible Lending and
           Jennifer Diamond, Policy Associate with the Maryland Consumer Rights Center.

WHAT: Negotiated rulemaking for gainful employment

WHEN: Monday, December 1 to Thursday, December 7 beginning at 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: The Learning Center’s Lobby Level at the Department of Education’s Union Center Plaza located at 830 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.