A group of senators last week requested that the Department of Education (ED) publish the amount and percentage of revenue for-profit institutions receive from all federal education programs, which would be a step forward in efforts to end the “90/10 rule” that governs federal financial aid for for-profits schools.
The rule prohibits for-profit institutions from obtaining more than 90 percent of their revenue from ED’s federal student aid programs, and requires that the other 10 percent come from sources other than the federal government, according to the letter.
However, the current rule allows these institutions to exceed the 90 percent federal revenue through the enrollment of servicemembers and veterans who have access to other, non-Title IV funds, such as Tuition Assistance from the Department of Defense and Post-9/11 GI Bill Benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“The negative effects of this loophole for students and taxpayers have been well documented in news article and Congressional investigation and reports,” the senators wrote in the letter organized by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and sent to ED Secretary Arne Duncan. “It has led to aggressive and predatory marketing and recruitment practices targeting servicemembers and veterans.”
Of the eight top for-profit recipients of Post-9/11 GI Bill funds, seven “are currently under investigation for deceptive and misleading recruiting or other possible violations of state and federal law,” they wrote, adding that the recently-closed Corinthian Colleges chain received $186 million in Post-9/11 GI Bill funds.
In publishing the figures requested, policymakers will be able to “move toward the President’s state policy objective” to close the 90/10 rule “and provide a more accurate picture of the for-profit industry’s heavy reliance on federal taxpayers for many of their operations,” the senators wrote.
In addition to Durbin, the letter was signed by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Publication Date: 4/30/2015