Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Civil Rights Groups Express Support for Gainful Employment Rules

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Civil Rights Groups Express Support for Gainful Employment Rules

Article excerpt

The Obama administration's efforts to step up oversight of for-profit colleges picked up a key endorsement last month when a group of civil rights leaders announced support for the proposed rules.

In a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights called the proposed regulations "particularly important for students of color, who represent about half of the undergraduate students in for-profit programs." While Black and Hispanic students represent 28 percent of all undergraduates nationwide, they account for nearly 46 percent of those attending for-profit colleges.

"The proposed rule would provide significant protection to students, by sparing them entry into a proven dead-end educational track, while also sparing taxpayers otherwise on the hook for their federal student loans," says the letter, endorsed by a cross-section of groups including the NAACP, National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the United States Student Association.

Under the rules, the federal government would tie student aid eligibility at for-profit colleges to student earnings in the form of median student debt-to-income ratios and repayment rates. …

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