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In a move that jeopardizes student futures as well as taxpayer dollars, the House of Representatives recently passed an amendment that would cripple the U.S. Department of Education’s ability to regulate the most toxic programs at for-profit college companies. As action moves to the Senate, we must speak out NOW against letting these companies run amok with taxpayer money while producing dismal results.
The damage this effort does is twofold:
• First, it cuts off money needed to enforce existing regulations that require for-profits to give students complete information about the programs they’re considering—essential data like graduation rates, job placement rates, and average student debt. And this information is incredibly important: At the University of Phoenix, for example, the six-year graduation rate is just 9 percent for students seeking four-year degrees. And the median debt among for-profit students seeking a four-year degree is almost $32,000—about four times more than what they would have owed if they had attended a public university.
• Second, it eliminates funding to finalize the Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations. These proposed commonsense rules would prevent taxpayer dollars from supporting the worst of the worst programs—those whose students must take on more debt that they can reasonably pay back. Without these rules, the for-profits will continue to rake in billions in federal subsidies while saddling their students with huge debt.
If the legislation advances in its current form, the deep pockets of the for-profit college lobbying machine will have won out over the best interests of students. The sector’s most toxic programs will continue to produce abysmal outcomes at taxpayers’ expense AND the companies won’t even be required to give prospective students the information they need to make an informed choice.
WE NEED YOUR HELP to show federal lawmakers that our students deserve better. We cannot afford to let the most toxic for-profit programs continue unchecked. Tell your senators to put a stop to this bad idea by entering in your zip code below.