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Department of Education Issues New Gainful Employment Regulations

June 2, 2011

NCRA to Work with Court Reporting Schools to Ensure Compliance

On June 2nd, the Department of Education issued new regulations on career and for-profit colleges.  These changes include the potentially detrimental "Gainful Employment" regulations that were first brought up in July 2010.   When the changes were first announced, NCRA acted swiftly in opposition, expressing the concern that court reporting is a specialty profession that demands an educational flexibility not available in most public institutions. The Department of Education received so many comments from a myriad of sources that it had to revise its initial devastating changes.  The June 2nd regulations are still very tough on for-profit schools. In order for students of a career college to receive federally funded student loans, a for-profit institution must meet one of the following three conditions:

  • A minimum of 35 percent of former students (note: not just graduates) must be actively paying down the principle of their loans and not just paying down the interest.
  • On average, graduates must spend less than 30 percent of their income after taxes and necessities (food, shelter, and clothing) on loan payments.
  • On average, graduates must spend less than 12 percent of their total income on loan payments.

NCRA's opposition on the initial changes assisted the effort in improving the regulations to the benefit of our schools. NCRA believes in accountability and providing a good education for a fair price, but unfortunately our schools were being included with some "bad actors" from other industries. NCRA's Government Relations Department will continue to work with our schools to ensure compliance with the new regulations.  NCRA has been actively involved in this process, submitting a letter in opposition following the original changes being submitted and attending the hearings held at the Department of Education.  Please contact Adam Finkel in the Government Relations Department with questions, comments, or concerns.