All schools should be held accountable for the educations they provide, including for-profits that have flown under the radar of regulation for far too long. These rules respond to the Department of Education’s recent investigation finding that some in the industry were promising students job placement upon completion of their programs and failing to deliver on that promise.
Once the industry got its cut from the government’s financial aid program, it left its students without an adequate education, without a job and with an insurmountable debt load.
Just as Wall Street is fighting to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other financial reforms, the for-profit college industry is fiercely resisting this reasonable oversight.
It spent more than $4 million on lobbyists in the first quarter of 2011 alone and has engaged in a documented campaign of staging false support in the very minority communities it is victimizing.
Nothing should stand in the way of real gainful-employment rules. This industry has destroyed people’s futures, cost our government billions of dollars and gotten rich by selling false hopes to those who most need a quality education. Now that the rule has been issued, we expect conscientious Members of Congress to resist the temptation to bow to pressure from this multibillion-dollar industry.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) is a member of the House Budget and Appropriations committees and chairman emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Wade Henderson is president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund.