Two of ASTD’s policy agenda items include Gainful Employment Rules and the Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act. This week, two significant activities happened with these two initiatives.
Gainful Employment Rules:
The rules, which are slated to go into effect in July 2012, redefine what’s known as
Gainful Employment. They would eliminate federal financial aid for programs of for-profit colleges and universities with a high proportion of students who are not repaying their student loans or who end up with excessive debt compared with the salaries they can earn.
In a briefing on the new regulations, Secretary of Education Duncan emphasized that several key changes had been made as a result of feedback to the draft: Poor-performing programs must fail the financial debt measures three times in a four-year period before becoming ineligible for student aid programs, rather than losing eligibility immediately.
Currently, the law requires colleges that qualify for federal aid to prepare students for a recognized occupation. Under the new regulations, a program would have to meet at least one of three metrics: at least 35 percent of former students must be repaying their loans; the estimated annual loan payment must not exceed 30 percent of a student’s discretionary income; or the estimated annual loan payment must not exceed 12 percent of a student’s total earnings.
Currently, in the House of Representatives, there is bi-partisan support against these new rules by the Department of Education. ASTD will continue to monitor these activities as they transpire.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA):
One of ASTD’s main priorities has been the reauthorization of WIA. Recently, a group of Policy Council members met with senior Senate HELP Committee staff on this subject. It appears that Senator Patty Murray, who is chairing the sub-committee working on WIA, announce recently to reporters that the Senate’s version of WIA reauthorization would be out this summer. ASTD will be able to see the draft bill when it’s available to review.
The House has not as of yet taken up the reauthorization of WIA. ASTD will be meeting with staff on the House side soon to share our thoughts on a reauthorized WIA.
ASTD will continue to monitor events as they transpire and update our members.
Categories: News | Public Policy