Educational Institutions Concerned – New GE Rule and Verifications
Attendees at a recent webinar discussing the Department of Education’s new “Gainful Employment (GE)” rules expressed concern and apprehension over the new set of GE rules expected to take effect as of July 1st 2015, and the need they create for employment verifications.
The majority of attendees indicted that they lack the data they need to gauge programmatic risk under the new GE rules, which will impose additional accountability metrics on proprietary institutions of higher education, as well as non-degree programs at non-profit institutions. The new regulations will require that institutions meet thresholds for debt-to-earnings rates for graduates of their programs that participated in the Title IV programs. This in turn requires them to get verifications of graduate earnings.
Based on two of the polls presented to over 100 webinar attendees, it was clear that institutions have a high level of apprehension regarding the new set of rules and simultaneously lack sufficient data and insight into graduate debt-to-earnings measures. (See charts)
Over half the poll respondents indicated that their institutions were “concerned” or “very concerned” about the new regulations.
Asked to rate their current ability to obtain the verifications needed to track graduate earnings, less than a quarter of the participants rated their current ability to track graduate earnings progression as being at least acceptable.
The webinar provided an overview of the new GE rules, potential impact and implications for the affected programs, and available sources of data and analytical solutions that can help inform institutions as to the programmatic outcomes of their graduates.
Dennis Cariello, a shareholder at law firm Hogan Marren, Ltd. and a co-chairman of the firm’s education practice, explained the regulations and outlined their likely impact. He also provided detailed explanation of how an educational institution should calculate the Debt-to-Earnings rates and assess risk under the new GE rules.
Naser Hamdi, Director of Market Insight and Strategy at Equifax Workforce Solutions, discussed a new Equifax analytical platform that provides insight into graduate employment and earnings outcomes by program, allowing for early assessment of programmatic risk under the new regulation.