January 18, 2022

New Report/Data: U.S. Department of Education Releases New Graduate Earnings Data for Career College Programs

From the U.S. Dept. of Education:

Today, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Education released data showing the typical earnings of graduates of the thousands of career training programs offered by colleges across the country. This release continues the Obama Administration’s efforts to help students make more informed decisions about college enrollment and to protect students from career training programs that lead to poor outcomes yet receive taxpayer-funded federal student aid.


The data released today show that graduates of career training programs at public institutions generally fare better than those of comparable programs at for-profit institutions. Specific highlights include:

  • Overall, mean earnings of graduates of public undergraduate certificate programs are nearly $9,000 higher than mean earnings of graduates of for-profit undergraduate certificate programs.
  • Graduates of certificate programs at public institutions are more likely to have attended programs that provide training for higher earning fields, such as nursing, than graduates of certificate programs at for-profit colleges.
  • The median earnings of nearly a third of graduates of for-profit certificate programs are less than the yearly income of a full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage ($14,500) even as students take on debt to complete these programs.

Source: “FACT SHEET: Department of Education Announces Release of New Program-Level Gainful Employment Earnings Data” (U.S. Dept. of Education; November 2016)

The earnings data released today will be used to calculate the debt-to-earnings rates that, under the standards of the Department’s gainful employment regulations, will determine whether a career college program is serving students well or leaving them with unaffordable debts and poor employment prospects.  Consistently poor performing career college programs that fail to improve their quality will be barred from participating in the federal student aid programs. Starting in January, institutions will be required to disclose program earnings and other information such as costs and graduation rates, as well as whether their programs are failing to meet the gainful employment standards, to current and prospective students. This information is intended to equip students and families with the information they need to make informed career college enrollment choices.

Direct to More Data and Charts (6 pages; PDF)

Read the Complete News Release

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.