Time to end predatory career college loans

Charlene Crowell

(NNPA)—Are you tired of complaining to family and friends about things you feel powerless to change? Or, as college costs continue to climb and student loan debts increase, do you or someone you know feel helpless that your opinion could make a positive change?
If you answered yes, know that the federal government is giving you a chance—now through May 27—to speak up during an important public comment period. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Education wants to learn more about the quality of career education programs. These programs, offered by a variety of for-profit colleges, have raised concerns about greater student debt and poor employment outcomes. These schools are also large beneficiaries of federal student loan dollars.
If enough collective voices—organizations, educators, consumers and others— speak in support of consumer protections, for-profit colleges’ ‘rules of the road’ can and will change for the better.
Commonly known as the ‘gainful employment’ rule, DOE proposes to cut off federal funds to career education programs where former students earn incomes too low in comparison to their debt. When incomes are too low or loan defaults too high, then students have not been prepared for “gainful employment.”

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