Civil Rights Organizations File Brief Urging Appellate Court to Protect Students from Predatory For-Profit Colleges

On November 24, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), Public Citizen, and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, along with 25 other organizations, filed a “friend of the court” brief in Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) v. Duncan, in support of a U.S. Department of Education rule—the “Gainful Employment” rule—that ensures career training programs, including those offered by for-profit educational institutions, properly prepare students for jobs that will enable them to repay their federal student loans.  

LDF’s brief explains that the Gainful Employment rule is critical because many for-profit colleges provide low-quality training that yields few to no job placement opportunities and abysmal graduation rates.  These institutions engage in predatory and sometimes outright fraudulent recruiting practices directed to underserved populations of students, including students of color, low-income students, and veterans.  At the same time, these programs are costly, and leave many students saddled with a lifetime of debt that all too often ends in default.   Given these significant issues, the brief urges the appellate court to uphold the rule to hold these schools accountable for delivering on their promise of career training that will result in meaningful employment.

“Vulnerable students, including students of color, are disproportionately targeted for enrollment by for-profit colleges, many of which provide a low-quality but high cost education,” said Coty Montag, LDF’s Deputy Director of Litigation.  “The Gainful Employment Rule should be upheld to curb the abuses of these institutions and protect students and the public from predatory career training programs.”

Read the full brief here


The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is not a part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) although LDF was founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. Since 1957, LDF has been a completely separate organization.  Please refer to us in media attributions as the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund or LDF.