Archive for June, 2011

Gainful Employment Law and Online Education

gainful empl pic blog

Gainful employment has been under debate from a long time now. It is of great importance as it is directly related to online education. Let us first understand what Gainful Employment Law is.

Gainful Employment Law

Gainful employment means work that a person can pursue and perform for money. Activities intended to provide an income to a person. This law is referred to in the Higher Education Act (1965). This act defines the conditions under which a professional or career program can receive a federal student aid.

General opinion

Gainful employment law has not been received warmly in educational sector. It is believed that this law will badly affect students both in educational and economical way all over US. This law makes online educational programs ineligible for Title IV federal student financial aid if they fail to meet the metric test.

Effects on Accreditation

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation states that the Gainful Employment Law will mark a significant shift in the accrediting process:

“Current regulations do not define or describe the statutory requirement that an institution must be legally authorized in a state. Under the new rules, the institution’s authorization must be subject to adverse action by the state. [The DOE] notes that, while state authorization was in the past viewed as a “minimal” requirement, the Department now views state authorization as a “substantial requirement where the State is expected to take an active role” not only in approving institutions but also in monitoring and “responding appropriately” to public complaints about institutions.” (Jan Friis, CHEA Vice President for Government Affairs)

Effects on Students

  • Students who receive federal funding in some programs that are affected by GEL, will be directly affected. In this case the program they enrolled for may not anymore be eligible for federal aid. Students may need to consider other means for financial aid.
  • Students who are eligible for and planning on federal financial aid will face diverse decisions about which institutions and programs to consider in order to continue their educational and career goals.

Effects on Institutions

  • Educational institutions will have to meet the set criteria for the rule. In other case they may lose the funding and would face strict fiscal burdens leading to difficult decisions.
  • New regulations may directly take a toll on the programs offered by educational institutes. It will directly influence which programs will be offered by institutions, and at what levels (certificates, undergraduate, graduate).

Gainful employment is work done for profitable purposes. Earned income includes both the wage and salary earned as an employee. Work as an employee is the major category of gainful employment. Thus work done in return for remuneration other than a money wage or salary can also be deemed to constitute gainful employment.

Role of International Alliances in Accreditation


International Accreditation Organization (IAO) is an international educational quality assurance agency working to improve the standards of education around the world. It operates worldwide, granting educational accreditation upon evaluation to conventional and unconventional educational institutions. Read the rest of this entry »