The Obama administration is set to release a controversial rule [today]that will cut federal aid to for-profit colleges if students in particular programs graduate with too much debt and worthless degrees.
Under the plan, schools will be required to demonstrate that short-term vocational programs, such as those offering certificates in the culinary arts, automotive technology or medical support, prepare students for “gainful employment in a recognized occupation.”
Schools would lose access to billions of dollars of federal student aid if they fail to meet minimum requirements three times in a four-year period. The first year that a program could become ineligible would be 2015.
The regulation also affects public community colleges and private, non-profit vocational programs, but the administration’s focus is squarely on for-profit institutions, more than a quarter of which receive 80% of their revenue from taxpayer-financed federal student aid.