Obama's Gainful Employment Rule Limits Hispanic Educational Opportunity
1.4 Million Hispanic Students Could be Impacted by Loss of Assistance
(Washington, D.C.) – The Obama administration is expected to make a decision by the end of this month on a proposed "gainful employment" rule which would cut access to federal funds to those institutions with career oriented programs that exceed a debt-to-income ratio of 8 percent, as established by the federal government. On average, students at private, for-profit institutions have a debt-to-income ratio of 13 percent while students at public institutions have a 12 percent ratio. The Administration's previous attempt at gainful employment regulation was struck down by a federal judge as having no data substantiation for the proposed standard.
It is estimated that the regulation would limit access to educational programs for up to 7.5 million students over the next ten years, including 1.4 million Hispanics – inhibiting the educational choices of more than a third of country's future Hispanic students.
Jorge Lima, Policy Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Time and again, regulations proposed by the Obama administration have had detrimental effects, particularly to Latinos and underserved minority groups. The goal of mitigating the mounting student loan debt crisis in this country is laudable, given the impact such large debt has on our economy and individual well-being. The present rule, however, falls short and fails to consider the career and income-limiting impact it will have on the very people who need access to the targeted vocational and training programs most.
Instead of pursuing this "gainful employment" rule which would hinder educational choice for those who enroll in career training institutions and job training programs, President Obama should address the real issues behind college affordability – skyrocketing tuition costs and irresponsible lending practices. To continue with the Department of Education's targeted proposal is in essence a penalty on those seeking alternative education options, and that is simply unacceptable."