Negotiators appointed to revise the federal gainful-employment rule failed to reach consensus Thursday, leaving it up to the Department of Education to issue its own version of regulations for career education programs.
The Obama administration issued the rule to hold vocational programs accountable when they consistently graduate students with debt they can't repay. The rule was finalized in 2014 and the first set of earnings data was released in November 2016, followed by repayment data in January of last year. But in June Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said she would overhaul gainful employment -- along with, separately, borrower-defense regulations -- to establish a more "fair and balanced" set of rules for colleges and universities.
The department by law was required to pursue the negotiated rule-making process, which involves an appointed panel representing various stakeholder groups. Without consensus from negotiators on a revised rule, the Trump administration will issue its own proposed rule by Nov. 1.