The White House giving in to corporate interests? Who could believe such a thing?
A year ago, the Obama administration crafted a set of proposed regulations aimed at limiting abuses by the swiftly growing for-profit college industry.
The initial draft threatened severe consequences for institutions that churned out large numbers of graduates with outsized debts and meager job prospects: Schools would quickly lose access to the multi-billion dollar pool of federal student aid dollars that supplies the vast majority of their profits.
But when the Department of Education delivered the final rules earlier this month, they were substantially weakened from the initial draft, adding a three-year grace period before severe sanctions will kick in — a major triumph for the industry’s lobbyists and their relentless pressure campaign on the Obama administration.
Those familiar with the deliberations say the industry successfully convinced the Obama administration to soften the rules by sowing fears that a stricter approach would prompt Congress — also the target of intense lobbying — to step in and revoke the regulations altogether.