A coalition of eight civil rights organizations released a policy brief today urging the U.S. Department of Education to release a strong gainful employment regulation to protect students, particularly African-American and Latino students, from substandard career education programs.
The brief, “Gainful Employment: A Civil Rights Perspective,” documents the adverse outcomes that African-American and Latino students experience as a result of policies and practices implemented at for-profit colleges. Students at for-profit colleges are much less likely to graduate, more likely to default, and more likely to incur debt than students at public and non-profit schools. The brief details how a strong gainful employment rule will provide much needed protections to both students and taxpayers.
In Milwaukee, for-profit colleges have targeted low-income and minority students with promises of job placement and a career, but delivered little more than huge debts. Yesterday, the Wisconsin Attorney General sued Everest College for its fraudulent practices, including a job placement rate of 5%. But others like Globe University, ITT, Kaplan and the Art Institute continue to game the federal financial aid system, a source of 90% of for-profit college revenues, and enroll unsuspecting students.
“Stronger oversight is desperately needed to tackle the problems of poor outcomes and high debt within career education programs,” the brief urges. “Currently, even when better and lower cost options are available, African-American and Latino students are disproportionately enrolled in schools where they are both likely to borrow and unlikely to succeed, and there are few incentives for schools to improve poorly performing programs.”
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Click here to download the brief.
The brief was released by the Center for Responsible Lending, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, MALDEF, the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Council of La Raza.