New York State’s for-profit colleges are asking to be exempt from new Department of Education rules on gainful employment, under which proprietary schools wouldn’t be eligible for federal financial aid if average graduates need to spend more than 8 percent of starting salaries to service student loans.

According to an article by Daniel Massey in Crain’s New York Business:

New York’s three-dozen-plus for-profit colleges have launched an aggressive push to get the state carved out of a new U.S. Department of Education regulation that would cut off federal student aid to educational institutions with substandard student loan-repayment rates.

What’s the reason these schools for asking for this special dispensation? According to the article,

They’re trying to make the case that the rules shouldn’t apply to New York because the state Board of Regents already applies rigorous standards before accrediting higher-education institutions—the only state education regulatory body in the nation recognized to do so by the DOE.

“Because the state itself, through the Board of Regents, takes an exceptionally active role in ensuring the quality of institutions and their programs,” wrote the Association of Proprietary Colleges.

The New York State Board of Regents certainly does play a rather aggressive role in education in the state, but this particular form of protest seems a little difficult to believe.

The regents board may “take an exceptionally active role” in the New York but at least in terms of for-profit schools, the intervention doesn’t really seem to work. Anyone who has ever seen the advertisements on the New York subway (the “University of… it’s never too late to learn”) knows that for-profit schools are very common in the state, and aren’t exactly doing a better job, or behaving more honorably, than for-profit schools located elsewhere in the country.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer