ED’s Gainful Employment Rule Will Stifle Innovation, Increase College Costs

WASHINGTON – Today, Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee Chairman Burgess Owens (R-UT) and Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona calling for the Department to abandon its proposed gainful employment rule, a sweeping regulatory package that imposes burdensome requirements on postsecondary education institutions, increases college tuition, and threatens the future of online learning.

In the letter, Reps. Owens and Foxx write“Despite commitments you have made to work with Congress on robust accountability for all institutions of higher education (IHEs), your Department has reverted to using a mere few words in statute as an excuse to create hundreds of pages in regulations primarily targeting IHEs who do not share your preferred tax status. In doing so, the Department proposes using flawed, arbitrary metrics to determine whether programs leave students and taxpayers better off for investing in them.”

Reps. Owens and Foxx continue“It is puzzling why the Department refuses to work with the legislative branch when there is clearly bipartisan agreement on these issues and instead chooses to operate by executive fiat. … Moreover, in doing so, the Department is issuing overly burdensome and unnecessary requirements for IHEs that cut against the shared goal of lowering college costs and improving student outcomes.”

The Members conclude: “The Department has failed to provide Congress, IHEs, and stakeholders adequate time to respond to a 1,077-page regulatory package that uses flawed metrics to assess program quality, proposes unnecessary and overly burdensome requirements that will increase college costs, and threatens to dismantle online education entirely at a time when innovation in postsecondary education is sorely needed. Simply put, the Department should listen to all stakeholders and abandon this proposed rule completely.”

To read the full letter, click here.

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