FOIA

Gainful Employment

The Gainful Employment Regulation was designed to ensure that students in career and for-profit programs would be able to earn enough money to repay their loans. In June 2019, Secretary DeVos revoked the rule, removing important protections for students pursuing career education.

(Related Coverage: AP: DeVos revokes Obama-era rule policing for-profit colleges)

FOIA Requests

 

Alternate Earnings Appeals - March 5, 2018

Seeking: Information related to alternate earnings appeals submitted pursuant to the Gainful Employment regulation. Specifically, the request sought:

  1. All documents constituting notices of intent to file alternate earnings appeals submitted by institutions of higher education pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 668.406.
  2. All documents constituting alternate earnings appeals submitted by institutions of higher education pursuant to 34 C.F.R. § 668.406.
  3. All documents constituting or reflecting communications with any institution of higher education regarding an alternate earnings appeal submitted under 34 C.F.R. § 668.406.

On May 23, 2018, Student Defense sued the Department of Education to force it to comply with its legal obligations under FOIA.

Documents

On August 29, 2018, the Department produced a spreadsheet identifying the institutions that have filed responsive appeals. A copy of that spreadsheet is available here.

On October 1, 2018, the Department released an interim production of documents regarding appeals that have been denied by the Department. A copy of those documents are available here (Part 1 of 2) and here (Part 2 of 2).

On December 14, 2018, the Department released a second interim production of documents, consisting of appeals that have been granted by the Department. The production is available here (note: large file).

In January 2019, the Department informed Student Defense that it had no more responsive documents.

 

Data Requested and Provided During the 2017-2018 Borrower Defense and Gainful Employment Negotiated Rulemaking Sessions - September 13, 2018 

Seeking: Copies of all the data/information requests submitted by members of the 2017-2018 Borrower Defense and Gainful Employment negotiated rulemaking committees and the Department’s responses to such data/information requests. 

Documents

On September 13, 2018 the Department provided a Final Response. Those documents are available here.

 

Communications regarding 2018 negotiated rulemaking - October 1, 2018

Seeking: All communications between the U.S. Department of Education and non-governmental third parties about the 2018 Gainful Employment negotiated rulemaking. The request includes any invitations to meet with outside parties to discuss the proposed rules, as well as confirmation of any meetings that occurred.

Documents

The Department has not yet produced any records in response to this request.

 

Documents from the Social Security Administration - May 3, 2019

Seeking: Any output provided by the Social Security Administration to the U.S. Department of Education regarding “gainful employment” programs. The request also seeks any statistical reports provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to the Department about the matching rate or other assessment of the success of any data match, pursuant to a memorandum of understanding and computer matching agreement between the Department and SSA.

Documents

The Department has not yet produced any records in response to this request.