AMTA wants to be sure owners and administrators of massage therapy schools and programs are aware of a recent report on for-profit schools. As AMTA Government Relations staff mentioned in the Title IV Presentation at the 2012 AMTA School Summit, the situation of for-profit education and federal funding continues to evolve.
On July 30, 2012, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a report by the Majority Committee staff entitled For Profit Higher Education: The Failure to Safeguard the Federal Investment and Ensure Student Success. The executive summary of the four volume report highlights the following recommendations.
Enhance transparency by collecting relevant and accurate information about student outcomes.
- Require that the Department of Education collect comprehensive student outcome information and enable data retrieval by corporate ownership;
- Establish a uniform and accurate methodology for calculating job placement rates;
- Increase the regulation of private lending.
Strengthen the oversight of Federal financial aid.
- Tie access to Federal financial aid to meeting minimum student outcome threshold;
- Prohibit institutions from funding marketing, advertising and recruiting activities with Federal financial aid dollars;
- Improve cohort default rate tracking by expanding the default reporting rate period beyond three years;
- Require that for-profit colleges receive at least 15 percent of revenues from sources other than Federal funds;
- Use criteria beyond accreditation and State authorization for determining institutions’ access to Federal financial aid.
Create meaningful protections for students.
- Create an online student complaint clearinghouse, managed by the Department of Education, for the collection and referral of student complaints to appropriate overseeing agencies, organizations and divisions;
- Prohibit institutions that accept Federal financial aid from including mandatory binding arbitration clauses in enrollment agreements;
- Enforce minimum standards for student services that include tutoring, remediation, financial aid, and career counseling and job placement;
- Extend the ban on incentive compensation to include all employees of institutions of higher education, and clarify that this ban extends to numeric threshold or quota-based termination policies.
The Minority Committee staff’s views and additional content is also available for review. If you haven’t reviewed the content yet, we recommend you read it carefully to determine any impact this may have on your institution. AMTA Government Relations staff will continue to monitor the situation and report any updates.