The "gainful employment" rule is still too strict for many Republicans, InsideHigherEd.com reports.
The "gainful employment" rule requires colleges to demonstrate that their students are able to pay back their loans upon graduation, provided, of course (and this is by no means certain), that they gain the employment which allows them to do so.
The Republican attack on the rule comes just weeks after the Department of Education issued a softened revision of the tougher original. Yet opponents claim that these new softened regulations nonetheless single out for-profit colleges unfairly and put an undue burden on them by requiring them to collect data.
Critics also claim that the regulations disproportionally hurt poor, minority students who depend on private sector colleges and universities for their education in such career fields as public administration, hospitality, and many others.
Neither political party professes much happiness with existing regs, and it seems like the battle will be long and hard. But the ferocity with which both sides are waging battle points to the importance of the for-profit education sector. It clearly plays an important role in providing educational opportunities for low-income students. What would happen if the for-profits were to be forced to curtail the number of students they admit? Where would those individuals seek an education? Educators and lawmakers need to acknowledge these potential problems before they craft potentially disruptive legislation.