Press Release: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ Rescission of Gainful Employment Fails Statutory Obligation to Stop Waste, Fraud, and Abuse and to Protect Taxpayer Dollars – and Knowingly Puts Veterans and Servicemembers at Risk


those institutions within their first year. In those same eight schools, 54 percent of students withdrew from the Bachelor’s program, and two-thirds withdrew from an Associate’s program without graduating.

  • At these substandard schools, the institutional spending on instruction can be relatively low compared to other schools, sometimes even lower than what is spent on marketing and profit. These schools also provide questionable academic rigor, few student services, and insufficient job placement
  • For example, in the 2014-2015 school year, private non-profit schools spent $17,567 per student on instruction in 4-year programs, as compared to $10,221 at public schools, and only

$3,948 at for-profit schools.10 In the 2014-2015 school year, the school receiving the most GI Bill funds, The University of Phoenix, spent only $2,126 on instruction, per student on their largest campus.11

  • Undercover agents from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found programs granting credit for obviously plagiarized work and for unacceptable work, including a submission of celebrity photos as a response to an essay 12
  • In 2010, substandard colleges that were examined employed two and a half recruiters for every student support 13
  • University of Phoenix, for example, had a student population of nearly 500,000, but zero career placement staff as of 2010. Similarly, Ashford University, employed one career placement official for their entire student population of over 77,000, as of 14
  • Without the Gainful Employment Rule, Veterans can be left worse off than they started, unable to secure employment in their chosen field, but burdened with student loan

Has the current Gainful Employment Rule been effective?

  • Kevin Carey for the New York Times, wrote in June 2017, “data released in the final days of the previous administration shows that the existing [gainful employment] rules have proved more effective at shutting down bad college programs [than expected].”15 According to the Education Department’s published data under the first years of implementing the Gainful Employment threshold, five percent of programs failed.16 These include obvious failures:
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh Associate’s degree in graphic design costs $44,804. Only 12 percent of students finish on time. Graduates typically earn less than $22,000, but owe more than $40,000 in federal student 17
  • McCann School of Business Associate’s degree program in medical assisting results in graduates typically earning less than a high school graduate with no college education, and carrying more than $26,000 in


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