The Gainful Employment (GE) rule imposes the Higher Education Act’s requirement that all career education programs getting federal aid “prepare their students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation” (Student Aid). In other words, the rule was implemented, under Obama Administration, with an idea of punishing programs whose graduates had student-debt payments that amounted more than a certain percentage of their income. However, as of August 10, 2018 U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DE) announced a Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM) that repeals GE rule (U.S. Department of Education).

The goal of U.S. Department of Education by revoking the GE rule is to give valuable and transparent higher education data to students and treat all the institutions of higher education equally (U.S. Department of Education). U.S Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos said “students deserve useful and relevant data when making important decisions about their education post-high school” (U.S. Department of Education). The U.S DE believes that data such as debt levels, projected earnings post-graduation, program cost, etc. are equally important to the consumers as they are to the students enrolled in the program (Inside Higher ED). Hence, in the NPRM the department is asking for the public comment(s) in regards with whether or not the U.S. DE must require institutions to disclose the important information (size of the program, graduation rate, cost, etc.) on the program webpage. The U.S DE also has plans to regularly update a web-based tool such as, college scorecard to provide program-level outcomes (debts and incomes) at all title IV participating institutions (U.S. Department of Education).

These steps will increase transparency among the new enrollees in all the institutions participating in title IV. This would also increase the accountability of educational institutions, because the future students will have access to the “accurate” data by the Secretary of Education (U.S. Department of Education).

By: Kwisha P.