Ranking Member Scott: By Eliminating Gainful Employment Rule, Trump Administration Once Again Puts Profits Above Students and Taxpayers

WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s decision to eliminate the Gainful Employment rule, which was established by the Obama administration to set a clear enforcement standard for career programs and for-profit institutions that have a demonstrated history of leaving students with debt they cannot repay.

“The Trump administration’s decision to eliminate – rather than revise or replace – the Gainful Employment rule is yet another example of its willingness to prop up low-quality for-profit colleges at the expense of students and taxpayers.  According to the Education Department’s own analysis, this decision will cost taxpayers nearly $5 billion in federal financial aid, which will go to college programs that have failed to meet the existing standards and would have otherwise closed.

“The Higher Education Act specifically states that training programs and for-profit institutions must prepare students for "gainful employment in a recognized occupation” to be eligible for federal funding. While the Trump administration can eliminate the Obama-era rule that set clear standards for enforcement, it cannot discard the legal requirement for schools to provide their students a worthwhile education. Accordingly, by eliminating this rule without replacing it with any alternative standards or enforcement tools, the Education Department is violating its duty to faithfully execute the laws passed by Congress.

“Despite the intent of Congress and the letter of the law, an Education Department run by former senior for-profit college officials is once again using its authority to direct taxpayer money to low-quality for-profit institutions that fail to prepare students for good-paying jobs.”