A Stricter Test for College Programs

Inside Higher Ed

Katherine Knott
May 23, 2023
Critics argue that the earnings test, which is based on the average earnings of a high school graduate with no college, is unfair. But supporters say it provides key information.
The Biden administration wants to use the earnings of adults who didn’t go to college as a new benchmark to gauge whether graduates of career education programs are gainfully employed.
Advocates praised that decision, saying it would strengthen the gainful-employment rule by preventing programs that result in low wages from passing the test. Critics of the move, including the association representing for-profit colleges, questioned the fairness of the earnings threshold and said the concept hasn’t been studied enough to warrant inclusion in federal regulations.