Attorney General Becerra Denounces U.S. Department of Education's Third Delay of Gainful Employment Rule

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

SACRAMENTO – Joining a coalition of 17 Attorneys General, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed his strong objections with the U.S. Department of Education for once again delaying the full implementation of the Gainful Employment Rule. The Gainful Employment Rule requires that educational programs at for-profit colleges produce graduates who earn enough to pay back the debt incurred from attending the program. Some elements of the Gainful Employment Rule went into effect in 2015, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has delayed, on three separate occasions, its critical disclosure requirements. These requirements provide prospective students with accurate information about the total costs and financial benefits of their programs, including, among others, the student-loan default rate. 

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has illegally delayed the full implementation of the Gainful Employment Rule — not once, not twice, but three times. It is unacceptable that she keeps kicking the can down the road on this duly-enacted rule,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Our students deserve to have access to information that helps them make informed decisions about their college education. We will not rest until the U.S. Department of Education stops giving break after break to predatory for-profit institutions."

In their letter, the Attorneys General allege that the U.S. Department of Education’s third delay of the Gainful Employment Rule:

  • Fails to account for the harm caused to students who are considering where to enroll or continue their education;
  • Fails to state why information that is already being disclosed on programs’ websites should not be disclosed directly to students or in promotional materials; 
  • Amounts to an abrogation of the Department’s responsibilities to promote the best interests of students and taxpayers; and 
  • Violates the rulemaking requirements of the Higher Education Act.

Attorney General Becerra has already taken legal action against the U.S. Department of Education on this matter. On October 17, 2017, he joined a coalition of 18 Attorneys General in filing a lawsuit over the delay of the full implementation of the Gainful Employment Rule. That lawsuit is ongoing. The letter being sent to the U.S. Department of Education is in response to the Department’s request for public comments. 

In filing this letter, Attorney General Becerra joins the Attorneys General of Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. 

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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