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 Gainful Employment Negotiated Rulemaking Concludes Without Consensus 


The negotiating team convened to discuss the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) proposed new gainful employment (GE) regulations—which seek to determine program eligibility of virtually all programs at for-profit institutions and all Title IV eligible certificate programs at community colleges—failed to reach consensus on the provisions at its final session on December 13. That allows ED to propose whatever regulations it wants in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, probably sometime early next year. The draft regulations put forward by ED for the last session were different in several ways from the previous version, most notably by dropping a loan repayment metric and modifying a program cohort default rate measure that were introduced in the prior draft. Overall, ED estimates that 80% of all programs would pass the metrics, 7% would fall in a zone between passing and failing, and 13% would fail the metrics. Raw data released by ED suggest that most failures would come from the proprietary sector. The political and policy environment surrounding these key regulations is fluid, so please stay tuned for ongoing information from AACC on this critical issue.

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