Education Department Releases New, Fairly Watered-Down Regulation of For-Profit Colleges

My colleague Pat Garofalo has what you need to know about the new Department of Education “gainful employment” regulations on what kind of for-profit schools can be eligible for federally subsidized student loans up at ThinkProgress’ new Economy Section:

The Department of Education today released long-awaited new regulations meant to curb abuses in higher education. As we’ve been documenting, for-profit colleges — schools like the University of Phoenix or Kaplan University — have been collecting 90 percent of their revenue from the federal government while leaving their students buried in debt and with bleak job prospects. (For more background on this issues, see our primer, “For-profits, not students.”)

The new regulations are intended to cut off higher education programs from federal money if too many of their students can’t find good jobs and default on their loans. However, after months of intense lobbying by the for-profit schools, their front groups, and conservative lawmakers, the new rules are significantly weaker than draft rules first proposed by the Education Department last year.

Read the rest.