'Gainful employment' rule is meant to help, not hurt, minority students
In his Jan. 7 Washington Forum commentary, "Handicapping education for at-risk students," National Urban League President Marc H. Morial echoed the arguments of for-profit colleges that have mounted an expensive lobbying campaign to derail the Obama administration's proposed "gainful employment" rule. (One such for-profit institution, Kaplan, is owned by The Washington Post Co.)
Mr. Morial argued that minority students would be unduly impacted by the rule because they "attend career colleges in much higher proportions than do other students, and these are the only schools targeted by the proposal." In fact, the rule applies to more programs at public colleges than at for-profit colleges. If more for-profit schools feel the impact of the rule, that will be because it targets programs that charge high prices but have a record of poor job placement, and more such programs are in the for-profit sector.
The proposed rule is a common-sense measure to prevent waste, fraud and abuse involving taxpayer dollars - and to protect students, especially students of color, from programs that leave them jobless and crushed by debt. The National Urban League should be encouraged that the Obama administration is pursuing means to direct resources to programs that help - not harm - our most disadvantaged communities.
Angela Peoples, Washington
The writer is the policy manager at the Center for American Progress's Campus Progress division.