In Part One of this blog series, I said that when it comes to private schools that offer HVAC training, I have seen some good schools, and I’ve also seen some schools that shouldn’t be in business. In a development related to that idea, regulations that took effect in July of 2011 may have some impact on schools that aren’t being effective in their training programs. It’s called Gainful Employment, and the basic idea behind it is to require private schools to show how the cost of their training program stacks up agains the repayment costs of student loans that a graduate would have to pay once they have to start making their payments. From a practical standpoint, the lower the number that a school achieves when their cost is compared to wage earnings, the better the school’s rating. In theory then, a school that received a rating of 10, for example, would have shown that cost-of-training to income ratio is better than that of another school that was rated at 20 or 30.

As yet, the exact methods that this process will employ to make the system of evaluating a school and assigning a Gainful Employment number work haven’t been fully determined, but whenever it is worked out, it will require that all private schools disclose their rating on their websites. Does that mean that, as a perspective student, you will be able to immediately make sense of this new regulation when you visit a site and check to see if a school is a 10, 20 or 30?

Maybe. Since nobody knows for sure at this point just how the system is going to fairly evaluate a schools performance against loan repayment costs, it’s not a sure thing. And, at this point, nobody knows for sure just how low a number you can expect a school to obtain even if they’re doing a fantastic job of preparing their graduates for the workplace. Nor is it clear yet whether or not a graduate’s earning power will be part of the equation. In my not-so-humble opinion, it would make sense that the actual income of a graduate as an entry level technician in their chosen field of endeavor should be part of the process.

We’ll just have to wait and see what effect this regulation has on the private school business as a whole, and how it may help somebody make a decision in choosing an HVAC training program.

Until next week.

Learn from yesterday….Live for today….Look forward to tomorrow.

Jim

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