News & Media

Washington Update: Close the Innovation Deficit; Gainful Employment; White House Request for Ebola Funding

APLU is helping to drive a new push on the Close the Innovation Deficit effort: a letter signed by more than 130 national organizations was sent to Congress today. Also, the Department of Education released its widely anticipated gainful employment rule and the White House has request emergency funding to fight the Ebola crisis.

Close the Innovation Deficit

APLU, the Association of American Universities (AAU), The Science Coalition, and 130 other national organizations sent a letter today to all Members of Congress urging them to pass an omnibus FY2015 appropriations bill that provides strong funding for research and higher education. The letter asks Congress to not further delay FY2015 funding with another short term continuing resolution, but rather to move an omnibus bill during the “lame duck” Congressional session which began today. The letter makes the case that an omnibus bill which provides funding increases to research and higher education will help close the innovation deficit.

The letter is posted on the Close the Innovation Deficit website and we urge all our members to amplify this effort using social media (#InnovationDeficit).

Department of Education Releases Gainful Employment Regulations

The Department of Education released the long-awaited “gainful employment” regulations, which apply to nearly all educational programs at for-profit institutions and non-degree programs at public and non-profit institutions. The regulations set as a condition for institutional eligibility of Title IV benefits, minimum standards for the debt/earnings ratio of graduates and require public disclosures on performance and outcomes of students, including costs, earnings, debt, and completion. Draft rules previously released would have also included student loan default rates as a metric but this was not included in the final regulations. The Department estimates that nearly 1400 programs would not pass the new regulations with 99 percent of the students being in for-profit programs.

White House Requests $6.18B to Respond to Ebola

The White House requested $6.18B in emergency funding to respond to Ebola in the United States and abroad. Of this request, $4.64B would be used for immediate response, and $1.54B is requested as a contingency fund in order to ensure funding is available as the situation evolves. Further information about where the funding would be directed is available on the White House’s website.

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