DeVos to repeal Obama-era rule penalizing for-profit colleges that leave students with poor job prospects: report

Greg Nash

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is planning to rollback an Obama-era crackdown on for-profit colleges that leave students in debt and with poor job opportunities, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Trump administration officials have said Obama’s “gainful employment” provision, which never fully went into effect, unfairly targets for-profit colleges.

{mosads}Schools that offered career-training programs would have been required to publish data about their graduates under the rule, and federal aid could have been cut off to schools that had high student debt post-graduation, potentially shutting down thousands of programs.

Current administration officials originally delayed the provision and said they would rewrite the rules to reach a wide variety of programs that are performing poorly, according to people familiar with the plan.

A spokesperson for the Education Department told The Hill they were unable to comment until the rule is finalized and published.

The rule repeal would come shortly after DeVos proposed establishing a new federal standard for what constitutes “misrepresentation” when determining whether a for-profit college defrauded students.

Students will be required to prove “reckless disregard” on behalf of their school when a debt forgiveness claim is being considered.

“Our commitment and our focus has been and remains on protecting students from fraud,” DeVos said.

She noted that the new rules establish “clear rules of the road for higher education institutions to follow” and hold “institutions, rather than hardworking taxpayers, accountable for making whole those students who were harmed by an institution’s practices.” 

The Trump Education Department has largely dismantled the team that was responsible for investigating abuses by for-profit colleges.

Updated at 10:29 p.m.

Tags Betsy DeVos Betsy DeVos Education Department for-profit colleges Fraud Trump administration

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