President-elect Donald Trump’s stunning victory on election night has sent shock waves through the higher education community. While campuses are coping with post-election protests, Mr. Trump’s pledge to expand technical and vocational education can end Washington’s war on trade schools and provide new avenues for practical skills education. It’s a powerful first step for both the skilled labor force and the middle class. Recent investigations into ITT Technical Institute and other nontraditional, so-called for-profit colleges have brought to light the need for a change in accountability for this increasingly important segment of higher education. Unfortunately to date, Washington lawmakers appear more focused on demonizing the entire industry rather than simple reforms that can help trade schools evolve and be more effective. The real losers in that strategy are students and parents looking for a practical skills education in shorter time and at lower costs to help them be competitive in the job market. With the cost of higher education increasing and with it student debt at crisis levels, government should be looking at models that work rather than working to limit choices for students and parents. That may be about to change. Rep. Virginia Foxx, a former college president herself and a member of the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education, has already expressed that synergies in trade school policy exist between the incoming Trump administration and congressional leadership. This is a good sign that there will be action to reverse the dangerous trend established by the Obama administration regarding trade schools in favor of policies that strengthen access to and accountability for these institutions. A Trump administration and Republican Congress have an opportunity to fix what’s wrong with the system, hold bad actors accountable and acknowledge that many trade schools provide value for their students. There will always be a need for liberal arts schools and an academic environment that prepares students for advanced degrees and the specialized training required for white-collar jobs. But with wages flat, nearly half of recent college grads unemployed, underemployed or not employed in their field of study and debt at crisis levels, a war on trade schools is the last thing government should be perpetrating. Predatory schools benefit from loopholes in current Title IV regulations that govern federal student aid programs. Schools who are accredited through Title IV are eligible to accept government-backed student loans. Most people think that financial accountability for students starts once a nontraditional college or trade school is accredited by the government. Not true and in fact, is just the opposite. At an accredited Title IV school, in most cases if a student decides to leave the institution after just three days, they lose their entire tuition. That failed model is great for school endowments and bottom lines, but can be catastrophic for students. Where Title IV accreditation currently fails is where federal programs like the GI Bill excel. The financial protections for students embedded in the GI Bill, for instance, are far superior to those that currently exist for Title IV accredited schools. The trade school I founded leverages the GI Bill to train military veterans in heating and cooling system installation and repair. The GI Bill’s protections provide real peace of mind for students, especially those struggling to transition to civilian life. If at any time a student decides the program isn’t for them or they are forced to leave campus, schools are legally obligated to provide them a pro-rata refund so students don’t pay for classes they didn’t attend. We graduate more than 85 percent of our students and 75 percent or more are employed in their field. Many have jobs before they graduate from the program. Reforming Title IV to include protections that already exist in the GI Bill that provide pro-rata tuition refunds will break the current dynamic by forcing nontraditional colleges to work harder to retain students, provide higher quality and improve career services. It’s simple math. If schools with low graduation rates had to refund government-backed student loans, they’d work harder to provide real value. Quality schools would survive and predatory schools would close.