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Regulating Colleges and Protecting Students: Gainful Employment Rules under the Obama Administration

The Obama Administration and Educational Reform

ISBN: 978-1-78350-709-2

Publication date: 1 December 2014



To provide an informative review of the gainful employment legislation proposed by the Obama Administration which seeks to reform higher education by making colleges and universities more accountable in their institutional practices.


This paper provides a thorough review of a breadth of recently published works and notice of proposed rulemakings (NPRMs) on gainful employment legislation providing a practical understanding of the proposed policy. The sources are sorted into the following sections: background of rulemaking proceedings, who are the students, proposed measures, challenges, policy recommendations, implications for practice, and future research.


An analysis of the information reviewed is presented providing policy recommendations that could potentially circumvent some of the challenges presented as well as satisfy the government’s need to hold institutions more accountable. Offered as an amenable solution to stakeholders is to better inform students about program outcomes, financial aid packages, and financial obligations to mitigate the need for regulation and for institutions to perform continuous evaluation of their programs to align with workforce needs.


This paper serves as an informative resource to college/university administrators, students, parents, and policymakers offering practical recommendations to achieve the goals of all stakeholders by employing approaches to better inform students in their decision making.



Jones, E.T. (2014), "Regulating Colleges and Protecting Students: Gainful Employment Rules under the Obama Administration", The Obama Administration and Educational Reform (Advances in Education in Diverse Communities, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 171-183.



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