A new set of rules designed to regulate for-profit colleges caused industry lobbyists to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration. According to the lobbyists, the rules are arbitrary and unconstitutional.
The rules released the last week of October are an amended version of the gainful employment regulations proposed by the Obama administration earlier this year.
Under the rules, for-profit colleges would not receive federal funding for career training programs if their graduates graduate with a lot of debt but find only low-paying jobs.
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) called the rules “irrational” in their suit, and said they “will needlessly harm millions of students who attend private sector colleges and universities.”
In 2011, the APSCU won a similar suit in response to the Obama administration’s first attempt at regulating the industry.
President Obama and his administration have argued that many for-profit college graduates don’t secure gainful employment after paying large amounts of money for their educations. It’s also pointed out that the graduates would pay much less for a similar education if they had attended a community college.
In the 2011 case, the APSCU won by a narrow margin; essentially what came down to a technicality. The judge for the case wrote that the rules proposed to regulate the for-profit college industry “set out to address a serious policy program.”
Though the proposed rules have been amended, those filing suit allege they aren’t that much different than those struck down in the 2011 case. Lobbyists supporting for-profit colleges say the metric used to judge the programs are insufficient to determine whether or not the programs prepare students for gainful employment.
Other challenges to the rules allege they overstep the authority of the Department of Education, and they do not account for the repercussions of cutting off federal funding for educational programs.
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