For-profit education critics argue that the federal government’s new rules about student debt for propriety schools are too lenient. For-profit colleges argue that the rules are too harsh.

Well not that harsh, according to the only thing that really matters as far as publicly traded colleges are concerned. According to a piece in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times:

Shares of for-profit colleges surged the most in six years after the Obama administration eased rules that would cut off federal aid to schools whose students struggle the most to repay their government loans.

Shares of Phoenix-based Apollo, the largest for-profit college company, rose $4.71, or 11%, to $46.90. Shares of Corinthian, of Santa Ana, jumped $1.07, or 27%, to $5.06. Strayer, of Herndon, Va., advanced $23.08, or 19%, to $144.95. Washington Post gained $20.46, or 5%, to $426.42. DeVry, of Downers Grove, Ill., rose $7.87, or 15%, to $61.86. ITT Educational, of Carmel, Ind., rose $14.94, or 21%, to $85.67. The Bloomberg U.S. For-Profit College Index of 13 stocks rose 12%, the most since January 2005.

For-profit colleges spent $6.6 million lobbying to alter rules about student debt from a draft first published by the Department of Education seven months ago. Since then the Department changed or removed many aspects of the gainful employment rule.

Daniel Luzer

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