The Department of Education has yet to provide institutions this year with lists of graduates from gainful-employment programs -- a preliminary step for calculating debt-to-earnings ratios that measure whether career training programs saddle students with debt they can't repay.
The revelation, made by department officials last week in a written response to questions from Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, indicates that the department will be slow to release new gainful-employment data after delaying several provisions involving compliance by career education programs. The department released the first set of gainful-employment data in January of this year.
Durbin noted in questions to the department that career education programs received the lists of graduates, known as completers lists, by June 1, 2016. Programs have 45 days to submit corrections to those lists before debt-to-earnings rates are calculated.
"We don't have currently have any timetable to send completers lists to schools for 2017," officials said in a written response to Durbin last week.
The department is in the early stages of a negotiated rule-making process announced in June to overhaul the gainful-employment and borrower-defense regulations, which were crafted by the Obama administration but heavily opposed by the for-profit college sector and congressional Republicans. Last month, it also announced that it would delay certain disclosure requirements for gainful-employment programs and extend a deadline to file alternate earnings appeals.