Today, the U.S. Department of Education released long-awaited data showing that 193 programs at 93 for-profit colleges failed to meet even the most minimal standards in preparing students for "gainful employment." The information on the average debt-to-income ratios and student loan repayment rates of students who recently attended for-profit colleges and other career training programs shines a spotlight on those schools are potentially putting their students in harm's way, by overloading them with debt they may never be able to repay.
The release of the data is also noteworthy because it provides, for the first time, comprehensive, comparable national data to judge higher education programs not just by their inputs and processes, but by outcomes as well: What actually happens to students after graduation? Have they received the training they need to get good jobs and pay back their loans?
Education Policy Program Director Kevin Carey
and Senior Policy Analyst Stephen Burd
are available to comment on the newly available data and the implications this information may have for creating a more robust, outcomes-based accountability system for higher education overall.