Friday Education Secretary Betsy DeVos along with the Department of Education announced that they will rescind Gainful Employment regulations.
This program began in 2014, as a way to help college students with the burden of rising student loans and lack of employment opportunities after college. Under this program, public and private universities would need to show how the degree or degrees that students are pursuing would lead to “Gainful Employment (GE),” or they would risk losing their Title IV eligibility for three years.
To show GE, colleges and universities would have to provide two metrics: 1) debt-to-earnings (D/E) metric, and 2) a program cohort default rate metric. Under the first, metric students can not spend more than 8% of their income or 20% of discretionary income on student loans. Under the second metric, institutions base this calculation on a few internal factors – these factors can vary among the different institutions – and if they want to use a two or four-year cohort period.
The steps that the Department of Education took in 2014 leveled the playing field among institutions of higher learning. Colleges and Universities were now being held accountable on how well they saw to their students needs. Students were no longer being stuck with a high student loan bill, without any hope of gainful employment after college. Because the success of the students was now being directly tied to the federal aid given to the University.
Secretary DeVos is leading the charge to rescind this policy. We must ask ourselves, if she is over the Department of Education then why is she promoting new policy that only helps the one percent?
We must remember that Secretary DeVos is a billionaire. Her kids never went to public schools, she never went to a public school, and before becoming Secretary, she was not involved in education. Rescinding this policy would have no affect on her or her kids. The Secretary’s kids would not receive federal funds to attend college, therefore they would not be apart of the GE cohort metric.
What is the Secretary’s purpose? The Secretary has the same purpose as her boss, President Trump. The President’s Administration has had only one goal, and that is to undo any regulations that was performed by the previous administration, without any regards as to how it affects others.
The one thing that the President and Secretary DeVos has in common is that they’re both billionaires. This author isn’t saying that there is something inherently wrong with being a billionaire, however when you’re a billionaire who has done nothing for individuals that are less fortunate than yourself, then we shouldn’t expect you to suddenly care for the same individuals when you are put into a position of power.
This rescinding of another Obama-Era policy should stop. Students go to college and amass debt so they can be able to live and lead a better life. To rescind this policy would no longer make these institutions accountable for their actions. Institutions of Higher Learning would once again take no interest in the success of the student but continue to see him or her as a monetary figure, while they raise the costs of tuition another year.
Secretary DeVos has done so much for our kids, that she needs to do it from home in 2020.
If we don’t send a message to President Trump and his administration this fall, by electing an overwhelming majority of Democrats to the House and getting a majority in the Senate, then in 2020 when we get a Democratic President, we still would have accomplished nothing.
Written by Mozella Bell, Louisana FDW