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Murray to DeVos: Stop Gutting Student Protections & Start Standing Up for Borrowers

(Washington, D.C.) – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today released the following statement on Secretary DeVos’ decision to extend the deadline and drastically change the requirements within the gainful employment rule for predatory career training programs to appeal a failing or probationary determination, allowing programs that leave students with high amounts of debt and little earning prospects to continue to take advantage of their students without any repercussions from the Department of Education.


“It’s clear Secretary DeVos has no intention of enforcing rules that protect students and instead is once again prioritizing predatory corporations and for-profit colleges,” said Ranking Member Murray. “I strongly urge Secretary DeVos to stop skirting federal rules and start holding career training programs accountable when they fail their students and leave them with debt they cannot repay.”


Secretary DeVos’ latest action to gut the gainful employment rule will improperly allow failing and probational programs to submit earnings data without proper data quality controls. This follows another action to undermine the rule last month when the Department of Education delayed the requirement that programs provide prospective students with critical cost and employment data before they enroll. 


March 6: ED delays disclosure requirements and the alternative earnings appeals deadline from April 3, 2017 to July 1, 2017.


March 7: ED cancels a contract modification with Briefcase Systems Development Inc. to calculate cohort default rates for Gainful Employment.


June 14: ED announces a new negotiated rulemaking on Gainful Employment.


June 23: ED cancels a contract with Senture LLC to provide Gainful Employment case processing and call center support.


June 30: ED announces one-year delay in the implementation of Gainful Employment disclosure provisions and an unspecified deadline extension for appeals.


August 18: ED allows programs until February 1, 2018 to submit alternate earnings appeals and allows programs to submit earnings data from graduate surveys or state data systems without any minimum requirements for response rates or sample sizes. The Secretary will consider the validity of appeals using state data systems on a “case-by-case basis.”