The APSCU President and CEO sets it straight:
We would like to see tighter controls on costs covered by federal student loans and grants. But student debt is an issue for all types of institutions, not just private-sector colleges and universities. While this proposed rule may be well-intentioned, the unintended consequences -- closing thousands of programs and cutting off access for more than 2 million students by the end of this decade -- will fall hardest on the very people it aims to protect.
This trend not only moves our county's graduation numbers backward, but it also has very real consequences for individual students. The median salary for an associate degree earner is $31,906, compared with $26,140 for a high school graduate. Although private colleges enroll only 12 percent of all postsecondary students, our institutions award more than 18 percent of all associate degrees. Over the past few years, our percentage of graduates has risen faster than our overall growth.
Private colleges and universities award 11 percent of all nursing and 58 percent of all allied health care degrees and certificates in this country. Their graduates keep doctors' and dentists' offices running smoothly and perform critical hospital functions like medical billing and coding, radiology and surgical technology.
With health care programs at community colleges running at capacity and the health care delivery system struggling to keep up in many communities, our schools provide a key source of skilled, job-ready professionals. The Education Department should withdraw its proposal and work on preventing excessive debt for all of higher education.