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Attorney General Josh Stein Applauds Stronger Protections for Students Against Predatory Schools

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today applauded the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to ensure that for-profit colleges give students the opportunity to learn the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs in their chosen fields. The Biden administration is proposing a new Gainful Employment Rule that creates stronger protections so students can earn a decent living after they graduate and so taxpayers are not on the hook for low-quality educational programs that don’t deliver for their students.

“Students need a good education that equips them with the skills they need to find good-paying jobs,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m pleased that the federal government is taking action to ensure for-profit schools provide that high level of education to students. My office will not tolerate schools that prey on and then dash the hopes and dreams of our young people.”

Post-secondary institutions are required by law to prepare students so that they can get jobs in their chosen occupation. If they fail to do so, the colleges risk losing access to federal financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education is proposing the following additional protections:

  • A debt-to-earnings ratio that post-secondary institutions must pass. This includes a requirement that graduates must earn more than a typical high school graduate in the state between the ages of 25 and 34.
  • More disclosure so potential students can make informed decisions. This includes a new website with information on how much a program costs, how much they students are likely to earn after graduation, and how much they are likely to borrow in federal and private loans.
  • A certification by the schools that they are in compliance with certain state consumer protection laws.

Additionally, Attorney General Stein and a coalition of 21 attorneys general urged the federal government to add protections so colleges that operate in multiple states must follow all, not just some, of the consumer protection laws in those states and to not relax any other standards that might make it easier for institutions to commit financial abuse. Attorney General Stein previously fought back when the Trump administration’s Department of Education attempted to repeal the Gainful Employment Rule and leave students at risk.

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending the letter by the Attorneys General of California, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.


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