- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2012

Washington Times reporter Luke Rosiak evidently does not understand the data released by the Department of Education under the Gainful Employment Regulation and made a significant factual error as it relates to Strayer University (“For student-loan repayments, an F at for-profit schools,” Web, July 1).

Mr. Rosiak falsely reports that at Strayer University, “Twenty programs there failed the measures, and most failed all three,” when in fact all of Strayer University’s programs pass and comply with the Gainful Employment Regulation. Every one of Strayer’s programs measured by the Department of Education had debt rates below, and in most cases drastically below, the required debt-to-earnings annual rate of 12 percent and debt-to-discretionary-earnings rate of 30 percent.

In addition, Congress and the Department of Education measure student loan performance by a metric known as the Cohort Default Rate, the rate at which borrowers default on student loans. On this score, and indeed on all relevant measures, Strayer University outperforms. For the latest year for which full data is available, 2008, the average Cohort Default Rate at Strayer University was 6.7 percent, consistent with the average of all public universities of 6.0 percent, and well below the average of all for-profit universities of 11.6 percent.

Further, Mr. Rosiak reported that the rule will be implemented in phases. In fact, on June 30, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras invalidated the entire Gainful Employment Regulation because the repayment rate measure was arbitrary and capricious and “not based upon any facts at all.”

Strayer University was founded in 1892 in Baltimore and this year celebrated its 120th anniversary. Over the years, Strayer has maintained a long and prestigious history of educating working adults. Today, with 96 campuses in 23 states, we are proud to recognize the thousands of students who have graduated from our regionally accredited institution and are reaping the benefits of higher education. The data released by the Department of Education reaffirm that Strayer University, by any measure, delivers on its promise of open access, academic quality and student success.

MICHAEL PLATER

President, Strayer University

Herndon