Durbin To DeVos: Why Won't You Stand Up For Students And Hold For-Profit Colleges Accountable?

DeVos Response To Durbin Inquiry Reveals No Progress Toward 2017 Data Required By Regulation

WASHINGTON—In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today slammed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to delay the implementation of the Gainful Employment (GE) rule, which requires career training programs to provide students with reasonable return on their educational investment – good-paying jobs that allow them to repay their student debt. In March, the Department of Education announced it would postpone the deadline for failing schools to submit appeals of their debt-to-earnings rates and use a new disclosure template to provide students better information about their programs.

“Using the questionable legal authority which she claims she has, the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has decided to delay for a year the requirement that schools warn students about these failing programs. That’s another year that for-profit education companies will be able to hide the truth about their miserable results. It means students are going to be defrauded because Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has decided to let it happen. It means more students and more federal dollars in the pockets of these greedy for-profit college executives,” said Durbin. “It is time for us in Congress to speak up. It is time for Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration to stop aiding and abetting for-profit colleges.”  

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here. 

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Federal law requires career education and certificate programs at for-profit, not-for-profit, and public institutions to prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation” in order to qualify for federal student aid. The Department’s Gainful Employment rule seeks to hold institutions to that statutory responsibility.  Final 2016 debt-to-earnings data released by the Obama Administration revealed that 98 percent of the 800 failing degree programs identified were offered by for-profit colleges‎.  Today, in a response to questions submitted by Durbin as part of the Senate Appropriations Committee's consideration of the fiscal year 2018 Department of Education budget proposal, Secretary DeVos revealed that the Department has made no progress toward generating 2017 debt-to-earnings data and has "no timetable" to do so.