Fact Sheet | February 3, 2021

Why Students Need a Strong Gainful Employment Rule

Most colleges and universities help millions of Americans earn a degree or diploma to lead to economic security and a better life. In the wake of the Great Recession, it was revealed that too many for-profit colleges – by enrolling hundreds of thousands of students – sought to take advantage of the federal financial aid system to make windfall profits. Issued in 2014, the Gainful Employment (GE) Rule was designed to ensure that career-education programs leave their graduates with debts that are affordable relative to their actual incomes. It distinguishes between programs that provide affordable training that leads to well-paying jobs and those that do not, based on the debt-to-income ratios of their graduates.

This fact sheet provides an overview of the gainful employment regulation, including the impact on the for-profit college industry, and pushes for the Biden Administration to restore rules to prevent student aid from going to colleges that operate wasteful, fraudulent, and abusive programs.