New rule targets high-debt, low-income college programmes

College programmes that leave graduates underpaid or buried in loans would be cut off from United States federal money under a proposal issued on Wednesday 17 May by the Biden administration, but the rules would apply only to for-profit colleges and a tiny fraction of programmes at traditional universities, writes Collin Binkley for Associated Press. Opponents, however, say the scope is too narrow to help most students.

The US Education Department is calling it a significant step towards accountability for the nation’s colleges. With more students questioning the value of a degree, the measure aims to weed out low-performing programmes and assure students the cost of tuition will pay off in the long run. “Investing in a college degree or career certificate is supposed to pay off – instead, too many students are getting ripped off every single year,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a call with reporters.

Known as gainful employment, it revives an Obama-era policy that was dismantled by the Trump administration before it took full effect. It was enacted amid a federal crackdown on for-profit colleges that contributed to the closure of several chains accused of fraud, including Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institute.
Full report on the AP site