TUCSON, AZ – Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced its new “gainful employment” rules intended to protect students from poor-performing career college programs. Under the new regulation for-profit colleges risk losing federal funding if they do not reduce debt burden and improve employment outcomes for their students.
“The rules announced yesterday are a step in the right direction towards protecting students, but unfortunately they don’t go far enough to protect the most vulnerable students at for-profit colleges – those who become mired in debt in hopes of an education they never receive,” said Rep. Grijalva. “While this rule will begin the process of seeding out exploitive programs, we need rules in place to stop the abuse system wide.”
Studies have found that for-profit colleges receive as much as 86 percent of their revenues from federal student aid programs, and spend up to 40 percent of those revenues on marketing. By prioritizing advertisements over curriculum, these institutions pull in more and more taxpayer dollars while producing very few qualified graduates.
Rep. Grijalva, a prominent voice in the call for accountability amongst for-profit colleges, is the lead sponsor of The Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act (H.R. 340). His legislation would create an effective check on for-profit colleges by prohibiting the use of revenues from federal student assistance programs from being spent on advertising, marketing or recruitment.
“No school should view students simply as a means of churning out more advertisements and accruing more revenue,” Grijalva continued. “I will continue working with the president and anyone willing to address this issue in good faith to ensure these practices are ended, once and for all.”