Wyden, Merkley condemn DeVos proposal to end student protections from predatory career training programs

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley urged Secretary Betsy DeVos to reverse her decision to rescind student protections from predatory career training programs.

“The Department’s proposal will weaken higher education accountability at a time when more and more students are taking out substantial levels of student debt but are unable to find good-paying jobs to pay back their loans,” the senators wrote in a letter sent this week. “Career training programs that cannot fulfill their promises to offer students a meaningful path to economic advancement must be held accountable and should not be rewarded with continued taxpayer support. Therefore, we urge you to immediately withdraw this proposal and enforce current law.”


The Obama administration “gainful employment” rule holds predatory career training programs accountable when their students are unable to find good-paying jobs after graduation and struggle to pay back unmanageable levels of debt.

DeVos’ proposal to rescind the “gainful employment” regulations is another step in the Trump administration’s long pattern of putting for-profit colleges ahead of students. DeVos has delayed implementing the “gainful employment” rule and its critical protections three consecutive times.

Wyden and Merkley were joined by the following Senators in sending the letter: Murray, D-Wash., Baldwin, D-Wis., Blumenthal, D-Conn., Brown, D-Ohio, Cardin, D-Md., Carper, D-Del., Coons, D-Del., Cortez Masto, Nev., Duckworth, D-Ill., Durbin, D-Ill., Feinstein, D-Calif., Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Harris, D-Calif., Hassan, D-N.H., Hirono, D-Hawaii, Jones, D-Ala., Leahy, D-Vt., Markey, D-Mass., McCaskill, D-Mo., Murphy, D-Conn., Reed, D-R.I., Sanders, I-Vt., Schatz, D-Hawaii, Schumer, D-N.Y., Shaheen, D-N.H., Smith, D-Minn., Van Hollen, D-Md., Warren, D-Mass., and Whitehouse, D-R.I.

The full letter can be found here.