Data Transparency: Washington’s Double Standard

Charges of misleading information and falsified data in the advertisements of several for-profit colleges have become a major component of pro-gainful employment rhetoric in Washington. Indeed, a quick glance at some of the recent headlines, such as this one in the Wall Street Journal and this one in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, speaks to just this. Regardless of your view on marketing practices employed by some for-profit colleges, it is evident that the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment (GE) regulation does not boast a great degree of transparency either – particularly when it…Read more …

It’s All about the Tax Status: ED’s GE Scrutiny Skirts Around the “Nons”

In a recent article published by Inside Higher Ed, Senior Reporter Paul Fain, who has insightfully written numerous stories on Gainful Employment and demonstrates a depth of understanding around its myriad nuances, wrote about the possibility that privately held proprietary colleges ("for-profits") could consider changing their tax status to become non-profit organizations. The article demonstrates a fundamental paradox of the Gainful Employment rule: it all comes down to tax status. An institution with degree programs that may not pass the regulation today as a proprietary college would not be subject to the regulation…Read more …

Graduation Rates Must Matter When Assessing Program Value

As indicated earlier, one of our basic problems with the Department of Education's proposed GE Rule is not that the Department wants to set standards to measure poorly performing programs. To the contrary, we fully support the Department on the need to identify programs that do not provide value to students. Instead, our problem is with the metrics that ED has developed to measure a program's success in preparing students for good jobs. The metrics that ED has fashioned fail to account for certain important factors while measuring other factors that are irrelevant…Read more …

Monroe College: Challenging Public Perceptions about Proprietary Colleges

It's been said before that scandals sell newspapers. However, the negative headlines are not always deserved. Taken collectively, they paint a highly unflattering and unfair portrayal of the sector that is certainly prejudicial to the unfamiliar. With that in mind, we thought it would be worthwhile to highlight a few of the many proprietary colleges that, through their exceptional academic programs, strong graduation outcomes, and robust career placement track records, challenge popular opinion about proprietary institutions. They're just not garnering press coverage for doing so. First up: Monroe College. The depth and breadth…Read more …

Hoisting The Department Of Education On Its Statistical Petard

Before any discussion of the Obama Administration’s Gainful Employment rules, I must reiterate a point I make so often that it is almost a mantra: The Association of Proprietary Colleges welcomes greater regulation of schools with questionable graduation outcomes.  But we feel strongly that standards and regulations should be universally applied to all colleges and universities, regardless of their tax status. The APC also firmly believes that universities and colleges who serve primarily minority and economically disadvantaged students shouldn’t be penalized for providing much needed educational services to this considerably riskier demographic when…Read more …

Even the University of Texas – a “Public Ivy” – Would Fail Gainful Employment Metrics

The University of Texas is one of the nation's top public universities, renowned for its rigorous academic standards, the caliber of its teaching staff, and world-class quality of its research programs. Alumni include bold-faced names in nearly every business sector and corner of public service, as well as 28 Rhodes Scholars, 26 Truman Scholars, 20 Marshall Scholars, 18 Pulitzer Prize-winners, and even nine astronauts. Its graduates enter the workforce with all the stature and advantage that derives from attending a "public ivy" (league) university. A recent study, entitled “Are Graduates from Public Universities…Read more …

An Introduction to Where We Stand

Welcome to Gainful Employment: Where We Stand, APC’s blog dedicated specifically to furthering national discourse on this critically important higher education issue. There are a great many voices and opinions coming from all corners on this contentious matter, and not all of them reflect a full or fair 360-degree view on the subject, leading to many misrepresentations, misperceptions and misunderstandings. This blog is designed to help bring relevant information, data, and insight to the fore to ensure a more balanced conversation going forward. To be clear from the outset, APC wholly endorses the…Read more …