7,500 Comments Don't Get As Much Change As You Might Think
ED releases final Gainful Employment and Financial Value Transparency rules
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Today the US Department of Education (ED) released its final Gainful Employment (GE) and Financial Value Transparency (FVT) rules.
The unofficial 775-page version of the new regulations (it will be condensed due to formatting once the official version comes out in the Federal Register) describes the rules, ED’s justifications, and ED’s responses to a subset of the thousands of public comments. tl;dr - yada, yada, yada, we’re changing nothing of significance.
In mid August I shared an update that caused a few questions, as it was based on me connecting some dots:
I overstated my confidence in that post, but now that the final rules are out, that view turned out to be 99% correct. From the ED fact sheet, these are the only changes from the draft rule worth comment.
The rules become effective July 1, 2024, and the first program metrics will be released in early 2025.
I cannot emphasize enough: compared to the 2014-era GE rules, there are two big differences in scope.
There is an entirely new metric called an Earnings Premium (EP) that is outside of the scope of student loan debt, per se. It just looks at program earnings compared to state-aggregated earnings of high school graduates, and this metric will have a bigger impact on vocational programs than actual debt-to-earnings (D/E).
The FVT rules apply to virtually all schools and all programs, not just those directly covered in GE. In other words, these rules will impact the vast majority of US higher education, not just for-profit institutions. For failing programs “prospective students must acknowledge that they have viewed the information provided through the program informationwebsite established and maintained by the Secretary [ED].”
I obviously have only scanned the rules document and will update as we look at the details. In particular I plan to look at how ED defines earnings data to be used in calculations.
I recommend reading Inside Higher Ed’s coverage today as well.
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