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Some for-profit game dev programs earn 'F' from U.S. Department of Education

A number of game schools and programs have been named in the U.S. Department of Education's final debt-to-earnings report, and while there are some that pass, there are others that fail to make the grade.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 17, 2017

2 Min Read

Hundreds of for-profit learning institutions have been evaluated as part of the U.S. Department of Education's final debt-to-earnings report, and some offering game design programs have come up short. 

The report, taking the form of a massive list of college programs, aims to increase accountability by highlighting which postsecondary programs and degrees offer genuine value, and which are laboring students with more debt than they can realistically afford to pay. 

A number of game schools and programs are listed, and while there are some that pass, such as the Digipen Institute of Technology, there are others that fail to make the grade. 

For instance, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Miami International University of Art & Design currently offer game design programs that fail to lead to "gainful employment" and have a poor debt-to-earnings ratio.

That debt-to-earnings ratio is calculated by looking at the annual loan payment amount a program will incur versus how much a graduate will earn in the workplace two years post-graduation. 

If the Department of Education finds that a graduate is being forced to spend too much of their income on loan repayments, the program in question will no longer be handed federal financial aid. 

"When a student makes a personal and financial decision to attend college, the student must feel confident that it is a sound investment in his or her future, not a liability that will further defer his or her dreams," commented U.S. secretary of education John B. King Jr. 

"These rates shed a bright light on which career training programs are most likely to prepare students for repaying their student loan debt, and which programs might leave them worse off than when they started."

While non-profit universities are not included in this report, you can take a look at the list of for-profit college's rankings for yourself by downloading the report through the Department of Education's official website (.xls download).

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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