Support the Senate in education reform!

The Senate has been holding committee hearings on abuses in the for-profit education industry for some time now.  (For more information of these hearings, click http://higheredwatch.newamerica.net/blogposts/2010/senator_harkin_lays_out_his_case_and_for_the_first_time_identifies_bad_players-41611).  The most important thing being discussed in the hearings is the “gainful employment” rule.  This rule, which the for-profit school industry is attacking tooth and nail, would limit the amount of student loans to a percentage of the student’s expected earnings after graduation.  If the school is in a low paying industry, like the food service industry, then student loans for those schools would have to be smaller.  Students going into high paying industries could get bigger loans.  Basically, the point of the gainful employment rule would be to keep students from borrowing an amount of money that is pretty likely to keep them swimming in debt for their whole lives. 

So, how do schools in low paying industries stay in business if this rule passes?  Simple; they will have to reduce tuitions to a manageable level.  This would result in less stress on graduates and lower losses to taxpayers.  It might cut into school profits, but because it would also reduce loan defaults, it would make the schools better able to carry out their mission of putting graduates who can succeed into the job market.  It is time for them to focus more on this mission than on their profits; that change in focus would go a long way towards solving the current for-profit education mess.

The lesson for you is one I have already written about:  if you are considering going to a for-profit school, get solid information about the jobs graduates are getting, what these jobs pay, and what the outlook for graduates is.  Be careful out there!

Comments

  1. I am amazed hearing that the Senate has been holding committee hearings on abuses in the for-profit education industry for some time now.This rule, which the for-profit school industry is attacking tooth and nail, would limit the amount of student loans to a percentage of the student’s expected earnings after graduation. So, how do schools in low paying industries stay in business if this rule passes?Be careful out there!

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