The Giant ‘Gainful Employment’ Loophole

The Giant ‘Gainful Employment’ Loophole

If regulators are going to start asking if some kinds of higher education are actually worth it, it would be pointless to exempt others from scrutiny.


olleges and universities proudly flaunt their “nonprofit” status while many of their graduates are mired in debt and their highest-paid employee is their football coach. Why, then, are they getting a pass on accountability standards?

That should be the central question this month as Department of Education regulators gather to revive an Obama-era rule called “gainful employment.” The original goal and underlying principle were laudable: Federal funding ought to be cut off from colleges that leave graduates with underpaying jobs and mountains of debt.

The rules, however, were lopsided and insulated degree programs with similar or worse outcomes at public and nonprofit …

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