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Education Department issues ‘landmark’ final rule to protect students in career education programs

September 27, 2023

College career programs will once again need to prove they won’t burden students with overwhelming debt, under a highly anticipated regulation that the U.S. Department of Education unveiled Wednesday.

The Biden administration released a draft version of what’s called the gainful employment rule in May. The plan aims to ensure students who spend significant time and money in proprietary programs reap benefits, like a sound job.

These career programs must demonstrate that their graduates earn more than the student loan debt they’ve incurred. Graduates can pay no more than 8% of their annual earnings toward debt, or no more than 20% of the earnings that the department considers discretionary, under the rule.

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