Washington, DC (PRWEB) March 14, 2014
The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) has supported the effort to evaluate “gainful employment” programs based on the debt that students would incur and their expected earnings. Unfortunately, the proposed regulations do not account for programs that are low cost or which have few borrowers, which includes a significant number of community and technical college programs.
The association continues to believe that the Obama Administration should focus on consistently high levels of indebtedness as the measure of “gainful employment.” Community colleges offer very low-cost programs relative to other higher-education institutions, with just 9 percent of certificate students in the sector borrowing funds to finance their educations.
ACCT strongly encourages the Administration to reconsider the “low-cost, low-risk” proposal that was offered by the community college negotiators during the 2013 negotiated rulemaking sessions.
The Administration’s utilization of the program-level cohort default rate (CDR) is problematic for community colleges. ACCT has always believed that metrics focusing solely on borrowers alone are improper measures of institutional or program quality. The “pCDR” judges whether a significant number of students who borrow are defaulting on their federal loans even if a very small number of overall participants borrowed any such loans. Under the pCDR, a handful of borrowers could negatively impact the ability of a much larger group of students to benefit from federal aid.