U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

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Private sector colleges and universities suffer defeat in challenge to Gainful Employment Rule

June 23, 2015

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) in its challenge to the DOE’s Gainful Employment Rule.

The court rejected APSCU’s claims that the rule exceeds the statutory authority of the DOE under the Higher Education Act and violates the Administrative Procedure Act. The court therefore denied APSCU’s motion for summary judgment and granted the Department’s cross-motion for summary judgment. The Gainful Employment Rule takes effect on July 1, 2015, in time for the upcoming academic year.

U.S. Chamber supports challenge to DOE’s Gainful Employment Rule

February 06, 2015

In its brief, the U.S. Chamber asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to strike down the “gainful employment” rule promulgated by the Department of Education (DOE). The Gainful Employment Rule would interpret the phrase “gainful employment” in the Higher Education Act to impose a reticulated scheme of “debt-to-earning” and “discretionary income” metrics to measure whether students enrolled in programs of study offered by private sector colleges and universities are eligible for federal loans.

The Chamber’s brief argues that the DOE’s interpretation is contrary to the Higher Education Act, and also would cause significant damage to America’s efforts to provide a skilled workforce to meet the labor demands of the nation’s employers in a competitive global economy.

Jay P. Urwitz, Francesco Valentini, and Leslie A. Harrelson of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as co-ounsel to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center in this case.

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