The U.S. Department of Education has just come out with its Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. According to the summary in the Federal Register:
The Secretary of Education publishes a semiannual agenda of Federal regulatory and deregulatory actions…issued under the authority of section 4(b) of Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ The purpose of the agenda is to encourage more effective public participation in the regulatory process by providing the public with early information about regulatory actions we plan to take.
So here’s the “early information” readers need to better participate in regulations, including one of the biggest: Gainful Employment.
The Secretary amends the regulations for…Federal Student Aid programs … a negotiating committee met in September, November, and December of 2013 to prepare proposed regulations regarding measures for determining whether certain postsecondary educational programs prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation…
As I wrote in Forbes earlier this year, "certain" means private, for-profit colleges:
The Obama administration claims its latest college crusade will help students. On the contrary, its “gainful employment” regulations amount to a hostile takeover attempt by government of the fastest growing higher education sector in the country that will hurt students, taxpayers, and the economy.
My colleague Carrie Lukas also noted in US News & World Report:
Unfortunately, if the Obama administration has its way, non-traditional students will have fewer options for continuing their education moving forward. The administration has proposed a "gainful employment rule" that threatens to render students in many for-profit colleges ineligible to access student loans. Analysts estimate that this rule could impact nearly 3.4 million students, more than half of which come from low-income households and are the least likely to find suitable opportunities at traditional colleges and universities.
It's not the federal government's job to mandate which employment choices it deems "gainful," and the last thing we want or need Washington bureaucrats doing is regulating a successful higher education sector to death—especially when private for-profit colleges are filling the needs of millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t have a shot at a college education that works for them through the public higher education sector.