- The for-profit college industry has lost a second round in the battle over the U.S. Department of Education’s gainful employment regulations.
- The New York Times reports that U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates in the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday that the department has a right to require colleges to prove their graduates make enough to pay back their student loans in order to be eligible for federal student aid dollars.
- According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, the lawsuit was the highest hurdle preventing implementation of the regulation, but lawmakers still could block the rules by refusing to fund the department's enforcement of them.
The Education Department introduced the gainful employment regulations in an attempt to crack down on the for-profit college industry, which has been accused of overcharging students for programs they pay for with federal aid and then leaving their graduates with subpar skills in the job market. Some community colleges, too, have opposed the regulations, as their career-focused programs would fall under the federal scope.
A federal judge in New York ruled against for-profit colleges in another lawsuit at the end of May. The rules are scheduled to take effect July 1. If colleges cannot prove their graduates meet the thresholds outlined by the regulations, they could lose access to federal aid, which would almost certainly force their closure. The Chronicle reports that 1,400 programs are expected to be put at risk.