Regulations aimed at for-profit colleges could end hurting community colleges, U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) says. The U.S. Department of Education is considering “gainful employment” regulations that would take away federal aid from programs that leave students with a high ratio of debt compared to their income. Kirk says the law would be a burden to community colleges without solving the larger student debt issue. “The way to handle the problem of student loan debt is not to have fewer students,” Kirk said.
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Christine Sobek, president of the Illinois Council of Community College Presidents, claims colleges would have hire more staff dedicated to collecting data in order to comply with the regulations. Sobek says that cost would have to be passed onto students, making schools more expensive.
“We are the solution to ensuring that people remain or achieve status in the middle class and remain employed, and anything like this, regulations that deter us from that main mission, we’re very concerned about,” Sobek said.
The Department of Education is expected to finalize the rules in October, though for-profit schools will likely challenge the regulations in court.