Obama Administration’s Rules against Abuse by For-profit College Delayed


Published Date : Jun 15, 2017

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Wednesday that two key rules aimed at limiting the harm caused by fraudulent for-profit colleges are being delayed, potentially with a view to abandoning them altogether. The rules comprised a crucial part of President Obama’s crackdown on for-profit colleges intended to secure the futures of citizens having their career prospects hampered by fraudulent activities.

What are the Rules in Question?

The two rules dealt with erasing the federal loan debt faced by applicants in fraudulent colleges and the implementation of the gainful employment mandate. The Obama administration had planned to expand the system dealing with student loans to incorporate protection from fraudulent colleges as well as to expedite the process of erasing the loan debt. The gainful employment mandate, on the other hand, manages the loan distribution process to colleges and would have increased the government’s power to cut off loans to colleges whose graduates couldn’t get jobs that paid sufficiently.

DeVos’ statement, while reiterating the government’s stance to cut down on fraudulent activities in for-profit colleges, blamed the Obama administration for creating a disjointed process that puts extra pressure on the taxpayer and fails to guarantee fair treatment to students as well as colleges. The rules regulating gainful employment were also criticized by DeVos, who claimed the rules were too confusing for colleges.

Public Backlash has Already Begun

Consumer advocates, state officials, as well as Senators were quick to criticize the decision to delay the rules. Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey described the decision as a betrayal of students and families caught in the tangle of fraudulent colleges, while Democratic Senators including Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray criticized the decision making process that went into the delay as well as the clear bias shown by the Trump administration towards for-profit colleges.