Government Affairs

Gainful Employment and Financial Value Transparency Final Regulations Released – Effective July 1, 2024 | Policy Matters (September 2023)

September 29, 2023

Major Updates


  • New Gainful Employment and Financial Value Transparency Final Regulations Released – Effective July 1, 2024

    The US Department of Education has released final Gainful Employment and “Financial Value Transparency” regulations. The Gainful Employment (GE) regulations include new and higher bars for career programs and connecting outcomes to programs offered by private for-profit institutions as well as those who provide certificate and non degree programs at all types of colleges and universities. The included metrics are determined based on a “debt-to-earnings ratio” (the share of a graduate’s income to debt payments) and an “earnings premium” (whether more than half of the program’s graduates have higher earnings compared to those of high school graduates in their state who have never enrolled in postsecondary education). These calculations will work separately and together to determine whether an institution will be eligible for federal financial aid, as well as whether they need to warn students that the program does not meet these requirements, and is at risk of losing access to federal financial aid.

    Separately, the Financial Value Transparency part of the regulations are not GE specific, and apply to all programs at all institutions. But, this application is markedly different from the GE regulations, as this area will not affect eligibility of federal financial aid. However, within these regulations is a new notification for any and all programs at institutions in which they do not meet the new standards, where students will be provided with disclosures and acknowledge that they are about to enter into a program which may have high debt burdens or may not make more than their peers who did not attend college and graduated high school in their state.The final GE and Financial Value Transparency regulations will be published officially on October 10, 2023. An unofficial copy of the regulations can be found here. A fact sheet from the Department of Education on the regulations can be found here. The Department also released comprehensive data on the estimated effects of the rule on most specific postsecondary programs in May. That information can be found here, along with a description of the data, and a data codebook.

    Those of you following along with Policy Matters may also have questions around the other topics which were originally packaged as part of the NPRM that the Department started with the proposed regulations topics, which in total, included: Financial Value Transparency and Gainful Employment, Financial Responsibility, Administrative Capability, Certification Procedures, and Ability to Benefit. There were some significant questions within the Certification Procedures relating to the applicability of NC SARA and state laws, as well as other concerns with state licensing requirements and Administrative Capability which was of concern to the UPCEA community. The Department has noted that the recent final regulations contain only provisions on Financial Value Transparency and GE, and they plan to publish another final rule with the remaining four topics at a later date.



  • Education Department Faces Potentially ‘Disruptive’ Shutdown (Inside Higher Ed)
    “A potential government shutdown could complicate the restart of student loan payments, efforts to issue final rules and the FAFSA update.The looming government shutdown could wreak havoc on the U.S. Education Department’s jam-packed fall plans. Student loan payments resume Sunday—the day after funding for the government will run out unless Congress acts this week—and the agency is set to start negotiations over a new plan for student loan forgiveness in a few weeks. Department staff members are also working to issue final rules on Title IX and gainful employment. Plus, a new version of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is set to launch in December.

    All this means that an October shutdown could cause a mess for the agency, depending on how long the funding lapse persists, though student loan payments will restart regardless of whether the government stays open….The specifics of the shutdown contingency plan haven’t been released, but under the department’s recent shutdown plan from September 2021, about 90 percent of its staff would have been furloughed. A skeleton crew would remain to maintain the student loan program. Meanwhile, the Office for Civil Rights would pause its investigations and the department would stop developing guidance, technical assistance and regulatory actions. A shutdown does create some additional challenges for colleges and universities, depending on how long it lasts.” Read more.



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Kristen Brown, University of Louisville, Chair
Mark Bernhard, North Carolina State University
Frank Principe, University of Maryland Global Campus
Ricky LaFosse, University of Michigan
George Irvine, University of Delaware
Stephanie Landregan, University of California, Los Angeles
Wendy Eaton, Northeastern University
Abram Hedtke, St. Cloud State University
Debra Iles, Harvard University


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