News & Events / Gainful Employment Rule: What Students Should Know

Gainful Employment Rule: What Students Should Know

Published Oct 11, 2023

By Cole Claybourn, U.S. News & World Report

College programs with a pattern of leading graduates to low-paying jobs or leaving them with debt they can’t afford could lose access to federal financial aid money beginning in 2026 under a rule change announced by the Biden Administration in September 2023.

As the cost of attending college continues to rise and Americans’ confidence in higher education declines, the U.S. Department of Education contends the rule, known as gainful employment, will hold accountable certain postsecondary programs that don’t provide their graduates with an adequate return on their investment.

The Education Department will also begin gathering the same data for all postsecondary programs with more than 30 students on a new website that will launch between July 2024 and July 2026 as part of its Financial Value Transparency framework. Schools that aren’t subject to gainful employment rules will still have data reported on this website, and graduate programs that fail to meet the measures will be required to send disclosure notices to prospective students.

This website will provide current and prospective students with programmatic information about costs and outcomes that they’ve never had access to before, says Diane Cheng, vice president of research and policy for the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

It’s information that students “deserve to know in order to better understand which programs will give them the best return on their investment in time and money,” she says.

Read the full article at U.S. News & World Report.