ARLINGTON, VA — The American Consumer Institute (ACI) releases a statement concerning the Department of Education’s final rule on gainful employment

“The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is supposed to stand on the side of consumers and protect the freedom of students to choose where and what they want to study. Yet, the ED’s just released rule on gainful employment runs counter to that laudable goal by choosing certain schools, as it discriminates against proprietary and career colleges and their students. These decisions should be left up to the students themselves.

Of course, students must be protected from bad actors in the marketplace, but the rules governing their protection must not be overly restrictive or burdensome. The ED’s gaingful employment rules fail to strike this balance and instead asserts that the government knows best because it places more stringent regulations on career colleges than their public and nonprofit counterparts.

Shuttering career schools has long been a dream of some ideologues, but that path represents a dereliction of duty for the ED. The agency exists to ensure that all consumers have access to a quality education. This mission demands a system that provides a diverse array of options for learners of all types with the understanding that American students have different education needs, expectations, and abilities.

There is a clear skills gap in our country and career colleges help fill the void by offering affordable, flexible, and on the job training for students. It’s a shame this administration fails to see the value in these schools and would rather see students crippled with debt from private four-year schools.” Consumers deserve better.