Washington, DC - April 14, 2016 - APSCU president and CEO Steve Gunderson sent a letter to Secretary John King asking for a one year delay in the imposition of any penalties related to the gainful employment regulation.
In the letter Gunderson writes that the purpose of the request "is to enable institutions to transition their programs in response to the Department's planned debt-to-earnings ratios scheduled for release this year. The basis for this request is three recent studies making clear that recent graduates faces significant challenges in finding work related to the value of their degrees."
The letter goes on to detail three studies, one by the New York Federal Reserve and two by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce that show high rates of unemployment and underemployment are not uncommon among college graduates just beginning their careers and there still exists a dramatic lack of job recovery in middle-skills jobs.
Gunderson continues, "These studies confirm that graduates at all levels, from all institutions, struggle to find employment at the level they thought they would obtain upon graduation. Such data makes clear that using debt-to-earnings ratios in a graduate's third year of employment inaccurately reflect the long-term earnings gains of graduates. Using such data will negatively impact many good programs that are simply caught in the delayed economic recovery for middle-skilled jobs."
The letter concludes by asking, "that the first year of the regulation be implemented without penalty. Such a good faith effort will enable institutions to comply without impeding student access. But it will not delay the program changes the Administration sought in promulgating this regulation."