WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 27, 2023) — Each year, billions of taxpayer dollars go to career-training programs that produce little value for their students, leaving too many Americans stuck in low-wage jobs, often with debt, and vulnerable to defaulting on their loans. Today, the Biden-Harris administration marked a major milestone in addressing this policy challenge by releasing final regulations that will hold career-training programs accountable for demonstrating they lead to an adequate return on investment. The final rules also ensure that students in all certificate and graduate programs funded with federal financial aid dollars, across the higher education system, will have access to high-quality information about the financial returns of their educational programs before spending their time and money to enroll. These accountability regulations, which set the strongest standard for student outcomes of any rule to date, will provide students and borrowers with critical protections and ensure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted on educational programs that don’t produce real value.
We congratulate Secretary Cardona and the Education Department on their efforts to instate a strong gainful employment regulation and urge the Biden administration to move quickly to finalize additional regulations increasing oversight of colleges. As the administration looks to the future, it is also critical that they begin planned negotiations on reforms to the standards for accrediting agencies, state authorization, and other accountability topics as soon as possible. We also urge Congress to work across the aisle to strengthen legislative protections for students and taxpayers and hold institutions accountable for the outcomes they produce.