For-Profit Colleges Say the Gainful Employment Rule Will Kill Access. Don’t Believe Them.
26 September 2023
Students who enter career training programs are making an investment in their future. They are also taking a bit of a gamble. Deciding to spend on a college education is a large financial commitment, one that often involves going into debt. Taking that risk is accompanied by many questions: If I take out student debt to pay for education, will I make the income I need to pay it off? If I invest my time and energy to complete a postsecondary program, will I be better off than if I never pursued college at all?Likewise, the federal government—specifically, the U.S. Department of Education, which issues the vast majority of student loans—has a vested interest in ensuring that federal financial aid supporting students in higher education is spent on programs that represent a good investment of taxpayer dollars. The country needs an educated workforce, and so federal investments in career training programs should be made at institutions that have a proven record of graduates who can actively participate in the national economy while paying off their student loans.
Peter Granville is a fellow at The Century Foundation, studying federal and state policy efforts to improve college access and affordability.