Will Proposed Student Aid Rules Harm Minorities?

Steven Kent
college girl with laptop - federal student aid rules
college girl with laptop - federal student aid rules

When the U.S. Department of Education published its new set of student aid rules recently, many education commentators saw a series of small tweaks to the current student aid system that came amid a few minor controversies -- and one glaring hole where a major controversy should have been.

That glaring hole would be the department's proposed new "gainful employment" rule on federal student aid, which regulators delayed issuing in its final form after they received some 90,000 comments -- a record-shattering number for a law-making effort in higher education -- from both supporters and opponents to the rule during the 60-day window for public comment.

The new provision, which would cut off federal financial student aid to for-profit colleges that don't properly prepare students to find "gainful employment" as defined by the department, would have been announced on Nov. 1 and gone into effect in July 2011, along with the rest of the rules package.