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Final Program Integrity Rules Issued

This summer the U.S. Department of Education released draft changes to the Higher Education Act that seek to ensure program integrity in federal financial aid programs, as well as draft changes to the gainful employment definition. The final rules for program integrity were released yesterday, and will go into effect on July 1, 2011. These rules are aimed at strengthening federal student aid programs at for-profit, nonprofit and public institutions by “protecting students from aggressive or misleading recruiting practices, providing consumers with better information about the effectiveness of career college and training programs, and ensuring that only eligible students or programs receive aid.”

“These new rules will help ensure that students are getting from schools what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement.

Final rules on a gainful employment definition will be released in early 2011 and will go into effect on July 1, 2012. The Department plans to hold several stakeholder meetings during the next several weeks, as well as public hearings on November 4th and November 5th. These meetings will allow individuals to clarify the comments they submitted and respond to questions from Department officials.

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