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Gainful Employment Rule Language Provides Important Accountability to Ensure Quality Higher Education

October 30, 2014

Contact: Jossie Flor Sapunar

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, LULAC National Executive Director, Brent Wilkes, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment rule, released today.

“The gainful employment rule released by the Department of Education is a positive first step in creating the necessary checks and balances to ensure that for-profit education institutions with career education programs accurately represent their programs to students seeking higher education. The rule would require covered programs to fully disclose costs, debt levels, and employment outcomes. In addition, the rule would ensure that programs are in compliance with accreditation and professional licensing requirements.

“Since 90% of the for-profit college revenue comes from federal sources these entities should be required to show that the public is getting a return on the investment of public dollars into their institutions. For-profits enroll 10% of students but are responsible for 50% of student loan defaults. The claim from the for-profit industry that the gainful employment rule is bad for minority students is akin to payday lenders calling usury caps bad for minority borrowers. As an alternative, community colleges offer a far more cost effective education with better outcomes for a fraction of the price. Protecting minority students from predatory practices of some of the worst for-profit college offenders is the right thing to do. The gainful employment rule is a big step in the right direction but ideally the federal government should offer free online college education to every student in America. The need to increase the educational attainment of our workforce is too important to leave it in the hands of for-profit institutions who charge private school tuition rates for the same online course over and over again.

“LULAC has been urging President Obama and the Department of Education to hold the for-profit industry accountable. The unscrupulous practices of for-profit schools which have left countless of Latino students with worthless degrees and saddled with student loan debt are well documented. With likely legal battles ahead, this gainful employment fight is far from over. LULAC will be calling on its 135,000 members to make their voices heard. In February, LULAC will convene over 100 of its members for another round of Capitol Hill visits and will make clear that federal financial aid should not go to for-profits which consistently leave students buried in debt and with degrees that could never provide any hope of professional advancement or economic success.”

“LULAC has been urging President Obama and the Department of Education to hold the for-profit industry accountable. The unscrupulous practices of for-profit schools which have left countless Latino students with worthless degrees and saddled with student loan debt are well documented. With likely legal battles ahead, this gainful employment fight is far from over. LULAC will be calling on its 135,000 members to make their voices heard. In February, LULAC will convene over 100 of its members for another round of Capitol Hill visits and will make clear that federal financial aid should not go to for-profits which consistently leave students buried in debt and with degrees that could never provide any hope of professional advancement or economic success.”

About LULAC:
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org.

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