Gainful employment remains on the books, but Trump administration says it can’t enforce the career-education rule because another federal agency won’t release data on graduates’ earnings.
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced it would miss a key deadline to repeal an Obama administration rule that seeks to hold career-education programs accountable for producing graduates with unmanageable debt.
Doing away with the so-called gainful-employment regulation is a top priority of the Trump administration. But the blown deadline means the rule will remain on the books until at least 2020.
Even before the rule’s sanctions could kick in, its first data release prompted some colleges to shutter poor-performing programs. Republican lawmakers, though, have long opposed gainful employment. And for-profit colleges complained that it was unfair to their sector. Missing the deadline was an embarrassment for the department, and it prompted an angry rebuke from the leader of the for-profit college lobby group.
However, despite that miscue, the Education Department hasn’t taken any steps to enforce the rule. And a top official last week said at a meeting of campus financial aid administrators that the department isn’t planning to produce new gainful-employment data any time soon.