ACI Files Testimony with The Department of Education Regarding Proprietary Colleges

As advocates for quality education and school choice for all Americans, we commend the Department’s efforts to safeguard the quality of educational options available to students. When it comes to considering any changes to the 90/10 rule, we urge you to consider the full extent of ramifications that could potentially be at odds with the intended goals and would instead negatively affect the education outcome and school choice for the thousands of students that choose to enroll in proprietary colleges.

At the institute, we studied the role that these institutions have in the American education system and analyzed the effects regulatory proposals (including changes to the 90/10 rule) would have on the students that seek education at these institutions.

We found that the net result of further reforming the 90/10 rule would include eliminating school choice for veterans and military students and forcing them into the worst performing education institutions. To be emphasized is that many of the military students and veterans signed up for service because of the specific benefits they are promised (e.g. education, housing, health insurance). As such, they should have the right to choose how they use the benefits they have earned.

It is our assessment that the current regulatory landscape surrounding higher education has created an uneven playing field that favors certain education methods over others. This should not be the case as it is to the detriment of students and their education outcome.

Please find attached the study for which findings we are referencing here.

Based on our findings, we recommend the Department takes into consideration the following to enhance educational quality and opportunity for all students:

  1. quality assurance policies meant to protect veterans, military students, and minority students should be based on student outcome metrics, and not on sources of revenue metrics;
  2. the student outcome metrics should reflect the wide range of demographic and socio-economic background of these students; 
  3. regulations should apply equally to all types of institutions of higher education, whether public or private. Regulations should not discriminate against certain education methods. Instead, emphasis should be placed again on student outcomes that reflect their diverse background, and not the kind of school that they attend.

We would look forward to working with you on such proposals.

Respectfully,

Krisztina Pusok, Director, American Consumer Institute

ATTACHMENT

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