Press Release/Statement | October 27, 2022

Statement on Release of New Regulations for 90/10 Loophole Closure, Prison Education Programs, and Changes in Institutional Ownership

Author: Statement of Sameer Gadkaree, President 

“Today, the U.S. Department of Education released new regulations for closing the 90/10 loophole, prison education programs, and changes in institutional ownership. These changes represent a pivotal moment in advancing student protections, college accountability, and equitable access to higher education.

“In March 2021, we celebrated the bipartisan agreement to close the 90/10 loophole that previously encouraged the predatory recruiting of student veterans.

“Now, we celebrate the enactment of this change, which caps a decade-long effort led by our partners at Veterans Education Success. Other veteran-serving organizations, including Student Veterans of America and the American Legion, played critical roles in ensuring that the 90/10 loophole has finally closed. The consensus agreement achieved during negotiated rulemaking exemplifies the strength of this regulation as a fundamental consumer protection for students.

“For a generation, policy raised a nearly insurmountable hurdle to access higher education by prohibiting individuals directly impacted by the legal system from qualifying for Pell Grants. These new regulations guiding the restoration of access to this critical financial aid will open opportunity nationwide. More equitable access to higher education will better prepare incarcerated students for successful re-entry to life and work. And because of unjust and racially disproportionate incarceration rates, Pell restoration marks an important advance for racial equity.

“Additionally, these new regulations will mitigate the chances that students will be harmed when for-profit institutions undergo conversions to nonprofit status. Too many profiteers have taken advantage of weak regulations for changes in ownership to prop up nonprofit institutions as vehicles for rapid enrollment growth, low quality education, and revenue generation.

“We are grateful for the lawmakers, negotiators, and Department of Education staff who helped shape these rules. We look forward to monitoring their implementation in the coming year.”