As part of an initiative to protect students from inadequate career preparation programs, the Obama administration recently announced a new plan that aims to assist students in finding post-graduate employment.

The goal of the initiative is to ensure the “gainful employment” of students who’ve graduated, according to a June 2 United States Department of Education press release, something Kerin Borland, director of the University Career Center, said University students already experience.

In an e-mail interview, Borland wrote that while the University provides vast resources for assisting students in finding jobs, they are ultimately responsible for taking advantage of their education.

“The University provides wonderful experiences and strong academic programs for our students,” she wrote. “What becomes most important for students is how they frame those experiences for prospective employers, and articulate why and how they will make contributions to employing organizations.”

Damian Zikakis, director of career development at the Ross School of Business, echoed Borland’s sentiment, saying he has also witnessed many University students receiving jobs after graduation. According to Zikakis, approximately 89 percent of this year’s BBA graduates had at least one job offer and 85 percent of them had accepted a job by June 3.

In addition to providing additional career assistance, the new policy aids in helping students pay off their loans, according to the press release.

Specifically, the plan states that in order for universities to qualify for federal aid in for-profit programs and certificate programs at non-profit and public institutions, they must follow three regulations: 35 percent of former students at a given university must be repaying their loans, the loans owed by a student do not exceed 30 percent of their income and the annual loan payment doesn’t exceed 12 percent of the student’s total income.

Margaret Rodriguez, senior associate director of the Office of Financial Aid, wrote in an e-mail interview that the goal of the University’s need-based grant program is to reduce the amount of money students borrow in order to help the most students possible attend the University.

“The current fiscal year, 2010–2011, resulted in the largest-ever amount of financial aid in (University) history at $126 million,” Rodriguez wrote. “Notably, 70 percent of our undergrads receive some type of financial aid, and families with incomes at or below $80,000 are paying less than in 2004.”

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