NAICU Washington Update

Education Department Repeals Obama Administration’s Gainful Employment Regulations

July 02, 2019

The Trump Administration has formally repealed the Gainful Employment regulations authored by the Obama Administration in 2014. After a series of publication delays, the Department of Education finally published its full repeal of the Gainful Employment on July 1, 2019.  The full repeal will be implemented one year later, on July 1, 2020.
The Gainful Employment regulations have a long and complicated history. Attempts to define and regulate the meaning of “gainful employment in a recognized industry,” date to 2009, when the Obama Administration first convened a negotiated rulemaking panel devoted to the topic. The negotiators failed to reach consensus, and the Department published a final rule in 2010.
However, most of the requirements related to student outcomes in the 2010 rule were overturned in a lawsuit brought against the Department. Undeterred, the Obama Administration convened another negotiated rulemaking panel in 2013; the negotiators once again failed to reach consensus. The Department published a new final rule in 2014. The 2014 regulations took on the force of law on July 1, 2015 and have remained in effect.
The Gainful Employment regulations have long been targeted for elimination by the Trump Administration. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced in 2017 that the Department would use its executive authority to suspend the implementation of the major reporting components of the Obama-era Gainful Employment regulations, and that a new negotiated rulemaking panel would be convened to discuss the future of the regulations.
Once again, negotiators failed to reach consensus on the regulations, and the Trump Administration called for the elimination of the Gainful Employment rules in a proposed regulation published in August 2018.

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